Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau thinks there are steps young players have to go through to earn NBA minutes. Second-year player Jimmy Butler and rookie Marquis Teague still have quite a climb ahead of them.
‘‘One is, you have to learn how to be a pro first,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘Then you have to practice well. Then you have to learn the league. You have to learn your teammates. Once you do those things and you learn your job, you may get an opportunity to play. It’s a big step going from college to pro. Everything is based on performance, and we’ll go from there.’’
Teague is still on step one.
Asked how Teague has looked in camp, Thibodeau said, ‘‘Like most rookies — some up, some down. The big thing for him is I just want him to concentrate on improvement and being a pro right now.’’
Butler had a solid summer-league showing, but Thibodeau isn’t handing him anything.
‘‘To me, summer league isn’t even NBA level,’’ Thibodeau said. “You have to practice well consistently before you can even think about playing well in a game.’’
Bereaved Noah back
After missing three days of practice for what the team called personal reasons, center Joakim Noah was back Tuesday and started in the preseason opener against the Memphis Grizzlies.
On Monday, Noah explained via Twitter that his grandmother had passed away.
‘‘Thank you to everybody who sent their respect to my grandmother,’’ he tweeted. ‘‘Really appreciate the love. I started playing basketball because of her.’’