(670 The Score) Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison will be out for personal reasons when Chicago hosts Washington on Monday evening, coach Billy Donovan said.
Hutchison is healthy but didn’t play in Chicago’s win at Orlando on Saturday despite fellow forward Otto Porter Jr. being out with a back issue. Hutchison did play four minutes in the Bulls’ blowout loss Friday. The reason he didn’t play Saturday was tied to his personal issue, Donovan said while remaining mostly vague. The expectation is that Hutchison won’t play for some time.
“He and I had a discussion the other day in Orlando and we talked a little bit there and we had a chance to talk when we got back here to Chicago,” Donovan said. “I can’t really talk anymore about it. The conversations I’ve had with him have been absolutely terrific. I give him a lot of credit. He’s handled himself like a complete pro, but right now, there are some things he needs to focus on personally and that’s where his attention is out. I don’t know how long he’ll be out. I don’t have a timetable for that. But I just wanted people to know, like if he’s not out there, he’s probably going to be on our bench. He certainly wants to be part of the group. And while he’s on the bench, I didn’t want people to say, ‘Why is this guy not playing? What’s the reason?’ So I just thought I would at least let you know what’s going on with him instead of me being asked about it.”
Hutchison, 24, is averaging 1.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 9.1 minutes in seven games this season. He was in the rotation before contracting COVID-19 in late December, which sidelined him for much of January. He hasn't been in the rotation since returning.
“We had a conversation right before the game a little bit,” Donovan said of his discussion with Hutchison on Saturday. “I wanted to give him some space to take some time after that initial conversation. But the conversation did take place the second game in Orlando, and I wanted him to get back and have him sleep on some things and digest some things about the things that he expressed to me. When we got back, we had a chance to visit a little bit further. Obviously, with what he’s dealing with right now, it’s going to be apparent that he’s going to be out for some time. I don’t know how long it is. The conversation started, and they’ve been mutual. They’ve been really transparent and open. They started the second night in Orlando. Obviously, we got in late. Yesterday was a day off for us. I wanted him to take some time. We had texted a little bit yesterday and we had a chance to talk a little bit further this morning.”
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.