Dalen Terry’s Rookie of the Year campaign starts now.
Marko Simonovic’s Most Improved Player campaign starts now.
Malcolm Hill’s Most Improved Player runner-up campaign starts now.
LET THE SUMMER LEAGUE GAMES BEGIN!
- The Chicago Bulls will tip off their five-game Summer League set at 3:00 p.m. CT this afternoon in Las Vegas. All eyes will immediately fall on No. 18-overall pick Dalen Terry, who will comfortably be the highest selected rookie on the floor against the Dallas Mavericks. While we must always temper expectations as we walk into these next two weeks, the hope surely is that Terry flashes the same set of skills that rose him up draft boards during the pre-draft process. I’ll be looking for relentless hustle, high-IQ playmaking, and the ability to guard multiple positions on the defensive end. Anything else – particularly off-the-dribble shot-making – will be icing on the cake.
- Speaking of Terry, the Bulls did finally make his signing official late last night.
- They also announced the signing of both Marquette’s Justin Lewis and Chicago’s own Javon Freeman-Liberty:
- For those who may not remember, each roster has two spots in addition to their 15-man roster for two-way contracts. These players will split time between the pros and the G-League, as we saw both Malcolm Hill and Tyler Cook do last season. News broke earlier this offseason that the Bulls did extend Hill a two-way qualifying offer over Cook. And all signs suggest that Hill accepted that offer and remains in that roster spot. Then, we got word that the Bulls signed Marquette forward Justin Lewis to a two-way deal right after the draft came to a close.
- I say all of this because I’ve seen some early confusion about whether or not Javon Freeman-Liberty was handed a two-way contract. While I can’t say for certain without the Bulls officially announcing Hill’s return, I imagine they would have explicitly stated that Freeman-Liberty’s contract was a two-way deal in the announcement above. If they did it for Lewis, why wouldn’t they do it for Freeman-Liberty? With that being the case, my guess is Freeman-Liberty is simply on an Exhibit-10 type contract for now. In other words, he’s likely on a training camp deal that will run through the preseason. Perhaps the Bulls will then decide to waive Hill and hand him a two-way spot, but I think that’s a decision-making process the team still has to go through.
- If you’re interested, I wrote a little bit more about what to look for as Terry and his fellow youngsters take the floor in the post below:
- Every year around Summer League I always think about how awesome it would be if a current All-Star just decided to suit up and go full-blown Wilt Mode. I mean, like, could you imagine if Zach LaVine decided to take the floor and actually try as hard as he could? I truly believe he could drop 70 points and leave at least four rookies crying in the fetal position. Now, I understand why this will never actually happen, but I would pay an unhealthy amount of money to watch it.
- I’ll say this about Andre Drummond: I’m sure it can be hard to go from All-Star-caliber talent to backup big man in only a handful of years. He seems to be embracing the new stage of his career, though, and it’s certainly reassuring to hear him say the following: “I’m just here to bring a lot of energy, some toughness. Just the grit this team needs to push us to the next level.” I still have a lot of questions about exactly how he can hold up in the Bulls’ system, but as long as he embraces his role, I look forward to having those questions answered.
- The guys over at the Domestic Draft Podcast invited me on to talk about the Bulls’ offseason! Give it a listen for a good chat!
- Rebuild can be frustrating, but they can also be the start of something truly special. The Blackhawks blew it all up last night, and I highly recommend you follow all of Tab’s latest work at BN Blackhawks. He’s killing it over there right now.
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