NBA Free Agency is winding down. The Bulls made a couple of key signings: Zach LaVine returns to them healthy and paid, Jabari Parker has much to prove and only a season to do it. But there is more to a team than just the big names; the Bulls filled out their roster, over the past couple weeks, with several under the radar acquisitions.
2018 G League Rookie of the Year, Antonio Blakeney signed a two year deal with the Bulls. He was with the team on a 2 way contract last season, splitting time between the Windy City Bulls and the big club. Blakeney adds more offensive fire power to the already offense heavy Bulls roster. Playing with the same scorers mentality, he is a natural back up for Zach LaVine, and could easily find himself a solid cog in the Bulls rotation.
Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins went undrafted out of Arizona this summer, but he had an impressive summer league for the Toronto Raptors and seemed poised to sign with the best regular season team in the Eastern Conference. So it was a happy surprise when the Bulls were able to sign the rookie to a 2 way deal right from under Toronto’s nose. As those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know, I was pretty high on Alkins earlier this year. I suggested on several occasions that the Bulls should consider using the late round draft pick they received from New Orleans in the Niko Mirotic trade on Alkins. I’m glad he is on the team, and so is his former Arizona teammate Lauri Markkanen.
— Rawle Alkins (@Iam_RawleAlkins) July 22, 2018
— 🅰️rizona in the NBA (@ArizonaNBA) August 1, 2018
I believe Alkins can become a productive pro at the NBA level. He has some work to do before he reaches that level, but he has the skills, length, and strength to become a “3 and D” specialist, the type of player the entire NBA is looking for. GarPax got this one right.
I don’t know who Antonius Cleveland is, or what he is about, but I do know that the Bulls claimed him off the waiver wire about a week ago. From what I’ve read, he is a guard. He played four seasons of college basketball at Southeast Missouri State University before going undrafted in 2017. He has spent time with the Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Hawks. His acquisition is reminiscent of last summers standout waiver claim by the Bulls: David Nwaba. Let’s hope Antonius Cleveland works just as hard as Nwaba on both ends of the court. He will most likely be competing for the Bulls last roster spot against…
Ryan Arcidiacono. Released from his 2 way contract, the scrappy point guard re-signed with the Bulls on a partially guaranteed deal. While undersized for the NBA, his grit, tenacity, and basketball IQ have kept Arcidiacono on the fringe of the league. He has shown himself capable of running the Hoiberg offense. He is an unselfish facilitator of the ball, the perfect compliment for a team with multiple scoring options. If only he was slightly bigger and a lot more athletic he would be the Bulls “point guard of the future.” Fortunately for Ryan, he is competing for the final roster spot on a team that is thin at the point guard position, this should give him a slight advantage going into training camp.
As we Bulls fans welcome new faces to the team, let us take a moment to say goodbye to those players that are no longer with us…
Sean “Kildraftpick” Kilpatrick
Noah “When did he join the team?” Vonleh
Jerian “Dribble” Grant
David “Nwowza!” Nwaba