As the season begins, the Chicago Bulls have some important decisions to make. They will not only be looking to improve their listings through the free agency and commercial marketplace, but also keep an eye on the non-technical freelance market.
Just because they only picked one player in this year’s draft doesn’t mean they can’t look at some other prospects. In fact, shortly after the draft ended, the Bulls were one of the first teams to make noise and lock down an unskilled freelance worker in a deal.
Based on Shams Charania by The Athletic, the Bulls have signed Marquette wing Justin Lewis under a two-way agreement. Lewis was not developed despite being ranked in the top 50 by several draft boards. In fact, he was the best player available on ESPN’s big board when the draft ended.
Lewis spent two years at Marquette but really exploded in his second season with the Golden Eagles. In his final year of college, he averaged 16.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals with 44.0% shots from the field and 34, 9% fired from behind the 3-point line.
While his offensive ability was certainly solid in college, his athleticism will be his ticket to next-level minutes.
Lewis hailed for sport in scouting reports
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Lewis’ biggest strength is sports. He praised his ability to finish in the penalty area and hit the basket with force.
“The aggressive athlete is someone who can end up with strength on the outer edge of one or two legs. He can also slow down when driving in a straight line,” O’Connor writes.
In addition, O’Connor believes Lewis has the tools to become a solid defender at NBA level.
“Excellent comeback as a defender with an NBA goal, including a 7 foot 2 wingspan. He moves to the side well even against quicker defenders, though he does. best suited for wing protection. O’Connor said when facing big games, he needs to add strength but physicality and be ready to manage to make the ball.
Unfortunately, defense is also one of Lewis’ weaknesses. Not because he’s a physically lousy defender, but just because he can get distracted at times, and that costs his team.
Lewis ‘Defensive Mistakes’
O’Connor noted several areas where Lewis could continue to improve. One of them is his focus on defense, as he describes him as “undisciplined” on that side of the ball.
“There is a lack of discipline and basic principles of defense, especially when it comes to using penetrations into the box. In the paint job, he often falls into pump tampering and goes looking for blocks instead of taking a stance to do a powerful contest using his length,” explains O’Connor.
It’s not a great sign for Lewis, especially at a team like the Bulls, who are in dire need of quality full-backs. However, with his full fitness and well-trained NBA level, there’s no reason why he can’t turn things around.
Lewis will only take two paths, so there won’t be much risk if he doesn’t rush out. But if he did, then the Bulls might have stolen.
https://heavy.com/sports/chicago-bulls/justin-lewis-nba-draft-offseason-rumors/ Bulls Sign two-way deal with Marquette’s Justin Lewis