How could we forget about Mokoka Mania!?
We learned on Monday that the Chicago Bulls would choose not to extend a qualifying offer to Kris Dunn or Shaquille Harrison. Instead, the organization decided to offer Denzel Valentine his $4.6 million QO, to the surprise of many. And, by the looks of it, Valentine appears not to be the only player in whom the new front office saw some future value.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith, the Chicago Bulls have extended a qualifying offer to Adam Mokoka. The 22-year-old split time between the pros and G-League last season on a two-way contract.
Per league sources: The Chicago Bulls have extended a qualifying offer to Two-Way player Adam Mokoka.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 17, 2020
Overall, Mokoka appeared in only 11 games for the Bulls last season – the most memorable of which came on February 6th.
In the shot-clock era (since 1954-55), no player had ever scored 15+ points in as little playing time as Adam Mokoka tonight.
📊via Elias Stats Bureau pic.twitter.com/gugSf4OqZB
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 7, 2020
You know Artuas Karnisovas watched that film and said “get me the phone, this kid is getting the super-max.”
In all seriousness, the Bulls decision to keep Mokoka on board is interesting, but not substantial.
The extended offer should be another two-way contract, which takes up barely any cap space when all is said and done (we’re talking right around $80,000). A team is allowed to have two players on two-way contracts, and I think it’s fair to say Mokoka did show enough last season to warrant an extended look. When he wasn’t breaking NBA records, he averaged 10.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals with the Windy City Bulls.
I watched the guy clock plenty of minutes up close at the Sears Center last season, and I can vouch for the fact that he’s worth at least another two-way deal. The kid can already play NBA-level defense, and I think it’s only a matter of rounding out the edges before he’s ready to crack a pro bench. Let’s not forget the Bulls also just invested in a whole new player development staff. Mokoka is only entering his second year in the league, so who’s to say he can’t turn into the next G-League success story sometime in the near future?
The question now is whether or not Mokoka accepts the deal. I’m not sure he has a ton of interest around the NBA, but other teams do like to scoop up these promising, cheap G-Leaguers. The Bulls do have the choice to match any contract another team offers Mokoka, though, so if Karnisovas wants to ensure Mokoka is on board for some reason, he can.