The Chicago Bulls may have gotten a steal in signing Justin LewisTodd Welteron June 25, 2022 at 12:00 pm

The Chicago Bulls did not draft a shot-blocking center or a sharpshooter from beyond the arc. The Bulls also did not trade for Rudy Gobert. It seems as if the Bulls had a little bit of a disappointing NBA Draft.

What the Chicago Bulls did do was find some cover in case Lonzo Ball’s troublesome knee keeps him out of the lineup.

Arizona’s Dalen Terry provides depth at point guard and gives the Bulls another bigger defender to match up with the Khris Middleton and Jayson Tatum of the world.

The Chicago Bulls still need to add more three-and-D players if they hope to overtake the Milwaukee Bucks in the Central Division. They definitely could use some more size down low. One under-the-radar move made after the draft could turn out to be a real steal for the Bulls.

Marquette’s Justin Lewis has agreed to a two-way NBA deal with the Chicago Bulls, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 24, 2022

Justin Lewis was arguably the top available undrafted free agent.

Best 2022 Undrafted Prospects:

Justin Lewis
Dominick Barlow
Michael Foster Jr
Jean Montero
Ziga Samar
Dereon Seabron
Trevion Williams
Ron Harper Jr
Alondes Williams
Keon Ellis
Collin Gillespie
Kofi Cockburn
Kenneth Lofton Jr
John Butler
Scotty Pippen Jr
Julian Champagnie

— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 24, 2022

He was projected by many analysts to be taken in the second round. Instead, Lewis never heard his name called. One of the reasons he might not have been drafted is concerns about his ability to defend at the NBA level.

The Chicago Bulls might have gotten a steal by signing Justin Lewis.

There may be questions about him being too slow to play the three and that he might be undersized to play the four. He can make up for those issues with a seven-foot wingspan.

Also, teams may have overlooked that the young man got better as a player in his two years at Marquette. Injuries plagued his freshman year but he still put a respectable 7.8 points per game. Last season, he was the Big East Most Improved Player and was selected to the All-Big East First Team.

He earned that by scoring 16.8 points per game and pulling down 7.9 rebounds a game. He shot just 21.9% from three-point range his freshman year.

He improved his long-distance shooting last season as he knocked down 34.9% of his three-point attempts. He did get off to a slow start shooting threes last season. He did shoot 40.8% from three in Big East play.

He had an awful NCAA Tournament game against North Carolina as he went 2-for-15 from the field and scored just six points. That game did hurt his draft stock a bit. It is not a great look to struggle against a team that went to the NCAA Championship Game.

He did score 40 points in the two meetings against Villanova who were another Final Four team. He shot 53.4% from the field, buried nine threes, and pulled down 16 boards in those two games.

His eFG% was 69.6% in those two meetings against a top-flight program. He also knocked down a game-winning three to beat Villanova in Philadelphia.

Did you miss @espnhomer & @AnalystTSmith34‘s call of Justin Lewis’ game-winner?

Let’s fix that.@MarquetteMBB @muathletics @jusbuckets_5 #mubb pic.twitter.com/3COVneII1K

— ESPN Milwaukee (@ESPNMilwaukee) December 5, 2020

Lewis can do something the Chicago Bulls desperately need and that is the score. Last season he had just three games where he failed to reach double-digits.

He needs to work on his ball-handling as he averaged 1.9 turnovers per game. He committed six turnovers against Wisconsin last year.

The thing is a lot of the holes in his game can be fixed with some good old-fashioned hard work. If he puts in the time, he can continue to improve his shooting, defense, and dribbling skills.

If there is one thing Marquette turns out, it is hard-working basketball players. Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder have carved out NBA careers by working hard. Even though Butler and Crowder played at Marquette over a decade ago, Lewis is carrying on that tradition.

Shaka Smart on Justin Lewis: “Most morning’s he is in the Al shooting at 7:30 in the morning.”

Over the last two games, Lewis is 9-for-15 from the 3-point line. #mubb

— John Leuzzi (@JohnLeuzziMU) January 23, 2022

The other thing the Chicago Bulls are getting is a versatile player. If he can develop his game defensively, he has the size to be a pest at guarding possibly four positions. That would fill the Chicago Bulls’ need for more three-and-D players.

Getting a player like Lewis on a two-way deal is great value for the Bulls. If the young man puts in the work, he may end up rewarding Chicago with some good returns.

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