The Chicago Bulls Have Officially Re-Signed Justin Lewis to a Two-Way Deal
This one made me smile.
The Chicago Bulls announced on Tuesday morning that they have re-signed Marquette standout Justin Lewis to a two-way contract. Considered arguably the best undrafted free agent last summer, Lewis immediately inked a two-way deal with Chicago following the conclusion of the 2022 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, before he could enter his first NBA regular season, the rookie tore his ACL while working out away from the team.
Lewis averaged 16.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his sophomore campaign at Marquette. He was the Big East’s most improved player and entered the NBA Draft expected to go somewhere in the second round. While his box scores may now have been the most eye-popping, Lewis certainly passed the eye test during his short stint at Summer League.
Despite standing just six-foot-seven, Lewis has real upside as a stretch-four and small-ball five in today’s NBA. His 245lb frame allows for him to hang with bigger bodies (he swatted seven-footer Mark Williams twice in Summer League), but he’s also agile enough to switch onto perimeter players and create a little of his own offense off the dribble. Not to mention, he’s shown significant improvement with his jumper, going from 21.9 percent behind the arc during his freshman year on 1.5 attempts to nearly 35 percent on 5.2 attempts in Year 2.
Obviously, we can’t get too excited before we see (1) how Lewis looks coming off his ACL injury and (2) how he competes against real NBA play (which, by the way, we shouldn’t expect to see him play in the big leagues over the next 17 games). But this felt like a sneaky-good signing for Chicago in the offseason, and I’m hoping this signing indicates that they plan to prioritize keeping Lewis around for next season.
Anyway, here are some highlights for your viewing pleasure!
Ps: In case there is any confusion, the Bulls had an open two-way spot because of Carlik Jones’ recent promotion to the full-time roster. The Bulls were able to add Jones after they waived Goran Dragic, who is now with the Bucks.