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Bulls’ Michael Carter-Williams changes number (again)

Yong Kim/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

After being acquired on Sunday night by the Chicago Bulls, point guard Michael Carter-Williams decided to keep his No. 1 jersey. After initially proclaiming that he meant “no disrespect” to former Bulls point guard Derrick Rose by taking the jersey number, Carter-Williams insisted the decision was purely based on the fact that he wore the number while attending Syracuse and during his tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers.

But after deliberation, it appears Carter-Williams has thought better of the scenario, instead opting for No. 7. Rose left the team this offseason in a trade with the New York Knicks that sent the former MVP packing from the only team (and jersey number) he had ever known.

The deal to acquire Carter-Williams provides the Bulls with backcourt depth, but continues the trend of accruing guards who are not particularly adept at shooting the ball from long range. Regardless of what number he wears, Carter-Williams is still just a 25.5 percent shooter from three-point range from his career, joining Rajon Rondo, who is a 28.9 percent shooter from three in his career.

Now playing in New York (and wearing the No. 25), Rose is coming off career-lows in points (16.4) and assists (4.7) per game, but did play in 66 games, the most since his MVP season of 2010-11.

Carter-Williams finds himself at a career crossroads after winning the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award. He also had career-lows in points (11.5) and assists (5.2) last season, and was already relegated to a bench role before the Milwaukee Bucks swapped him. Regardless of what number he wears, it will be a vital season for the future of his career and whether or not he’ll be able to repeat his rookie year performance.

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