Chicago Bulls' Carlik Jones Named G-League MVP

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Chicago Bulls’ Carlik Jones Named G-League MVP

Chicago Bulls, NBA

The Chicago Bulls have the MVP on their roster.

The NBA announced on Wednesday that Carlik Jones is the 2022-23 G-League MVP. Officially joining the Bulls full-time on a two-way contract in early March, Jones put together a stellar campaign in just his second season of NBA action. He averaged a league-high 26.1 points per game to go along with 7.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals in his 24 regular season games as a member of the Windy City Bulls.

Standing just six-foot-one, Jones has quickly turned into one the most dynamic scorers in the G-League. He shot 48.0 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from downtown on just under 6.0 attempts a night. Jones was also 10th in total free throw attempts this season, converting at a 78.9 percent clip.

Jones MVP accolade comes after being recognized as the G-League player of the month in February and in the “Next Up Game” at All-Star Weekend. Another noteworthy highly was undoubtedly his clutch buzzer-beater against the Cleveland Charge to send Windy City to the Showcase Cup Final.

The Bulls appeared to break the news to Jones during teamwork at the Advocate Center. Jones’ mother and father both appeared in a video to congratulate him. Then, to no surprise, his teammates stormed him.

It’s an awesome moment you should check out here:

Jones will now head into his third season in the NBA (his first was spent with the Mavs’ Texas Legends) with plenty of impressive accolades in his back pocket. Will that be enough for a team to take a bigger chance on him this summer, though?

We’ve seen a few recent G-League MVPs build out an increasingly big role for themselves following their respective breakout seasons. Paul Reed won the G-League MVP back in 2020-21 and most recently appeared in 66 games for the third-seeded Philidelphia 76ers. Chris Boucher won the award during the 2018-19 campaign and is now a staple in the Raptors rotation and making over $11.7 million a year.

With that said, finding a true home in the NBA isn’t a guarantee for these G-League standouts, so it will be interesting to see where Jones goes from here. There is no question his smaller frame could present some issues at the next level, but he’s also proven he has the skill to overcome some of that. Not to mention, averaging 7.0 assists isn’t too shabby. A lot of teams can use that kind of playmaking (ya know, like the Bulls).

I’m not sure I see Chicago extending him a full-time roster spot for next season, but you never really know. There is no question the team needs point guard depth with Lonzo Ball’s career in jeopardy, and Jones could be considered a relatively cheap option. We also can’t rule out the idea of him returning in one of those two-way contract spots, particularly if he doesn’t receive a lot of interest in free agency this summer.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.