Who is Matas Buzelis? 5 things to know about the Chicago Bulls 2024 NBA Draft pick

The Chicago Bulls are bringing a hometown kid to Chicago.

Matas Buzelis is the Bulls' pick at No. 11 overall. The 6-foot-10 forward will bring youth and a high ceiling to the Bulls' rotation.

Here are five things to know about the newest Bull:

Getting drafted by the Bulls means the world to Buzelis

On ESPN, after he was drafted, Buzelis was seen with tears welling in his eyes.

The Chicago kid had gotten selected by his hometown team

"I wanted to be here," Buzelis told ESPN after he was drafted. 

Buzelis was born in Chicago and attended Hinsdale Central High School before deciding to attend Sunrise Academy in Kansas.

"Super thankful, very grateful," Buzelis said. "I just can't thank the Bulls organization enough."

Buzelis said he grew up watching Derrick Rose, who was a player that left an impact on a young Buzelis as he grew into a basketball fan. 

"Me being born and raised there, it just makes it so much better," Buzelis said. 

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 18: Matas Buzelis #13 of the G League Ignite makes a move during the first game of the G Leauge Next Up Game at Indiana Convention Center on February 18, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ack

Buzelis is a massive trash talker

After getting drafted and wearing his emotions on his sleeve, Buzelis showed the other side of himself.

That side is the massive competitor.

Buzelis also brings an edge to that the Bulls can develop over time. Having an edge as a trash talker also fits with the notable Bulls of the past, like Joakim Noah and Michael Jordan.

"I thank everyone who doubted me," Buzelis told ESPN. "I wouldn't be here without y'all."

Buzelis also called out one of his fellow draftees.

"He just doesn’t want to see me," Buzelis told Stadium when speaking about Zach Risacher. "I’m just going to keep it real with everybody."

Buzelis chose to forgo the college route for a reason

Coming out of high school Buzelis was a five-star prospect and the seventh-best prospect in America.

He had offers from Kentucky, Wake Forest, Arizona and Florida State. He decided to pursue the NBA G-League.

There's a reason for that.

"Playing against the best players in the world, getting trained by the best coaches in the world," Buzelis said.

Playing in the G-League, Buzelis tested himself against players who had NBA experience. The chance to test himself there was something that he believes readied him for the next level.

"I gained an advantage being there," Buzelis said.

Buzelis has a connection to his boss

The Bulls came out to watch Buzelis work out in Los Angeles, but the Bulls' pick has a connection to Artūras Karnišovas before the draft.

Although Buzelis doesn't know Karnišovas that well, Buzelis' dad knows Karnišovas from their past basketball careers.

"My dad knows him from being with the Lithuanian national team," Buzelis said. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 26: Matas Buzelis (R) poses for a photo with NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) after being drafted 11th overall by the Chicago Bulls during the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2024 in the Broo

One of Buzelis' strengths is his versatility

Buzelis said it himself: he's a versatile player. 

Two of his strengths are blocking shots and pushing the ball in transition, two things that fit in the modern day NBA.

"I feel like I can bring a lot of things to the table," Buzelis said. 

However, Buzelis has also been skilled as a playmaker at the rim. That only got better as he got more experience.

Buzelis averaged 2.1 blocks per game with the G-League Ignite, which is something the Bulls could use in a player that can play multiple positions.

"Buzelis is very creative with the ball, especially in the open floor, albeit a little upright," 247Sports' Adam Finkelstein said in Buzelis' high school evaluation in 2022. "He’s a solid vertical athlete who is also capable of utilizing his touch around the rim to make tough finishes with both hands. He converts at a very high-level inside the lane."

Buzelis knows he has to get better, but at the NBA level the one self-described weakness he had for himself is something that will go away with time.

"I need to work on getting stronger, that's going to come eventually," Buzelis said.


Chicago Bulls select Matas Buzelis No. 11 overall in the 2024 NBA Draft

The Chicago Bulls have made their choice in the 2024 NBA Draft, selecting a kid born in Chicago.