The Chicago Bulls have signed undrafted rookie Justin Lewis from Marquette to a two-way deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Bulls only had one pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, using it on Arizona’s Dalen Terry. However, they wasted little time bringing more talent to the table, signing the 6-foot-7 forward, Lewis, who can immediately provide some depth off the bench for the Bulls.
Justin Lewis | Forward | 6’7 | 20 Years Old | Marquette
Stats: 16.8 PPG | 7.9 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 44% Shooting | 34.9% 3-Point
In signing Justin Lewis, the Bulls added some desperately needed depth in the frontcourt with a guy who can play a little 3, 4, and small-ball 5. He sports a 7-foot-2 wingspan, is about 240 pounds, and has a standing vertical of 32.5 inches. In general, Lewis fits the mold Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley seem to be looking for as a versatile player.
Lewis gives the Bulls a bigger wing who projects to be impactful on the defensive end. Frequently, Lewis demonstrated his defensive upside at Marquette by using his length and physicality to shut down opposing players. Furthermore, he showcased the ability to switch well and play help defense.
If you have watched the Bulls the past couple of seasons, you know how poorly the team has done that as of late. While quicker players can beat him off the dribble, Lewis showed the ability to stick with them and contest shots at the rim due to his length. If he can stay in his stance better on the perimeter against quicker guards and wings, this will improve more, too. Lewis needs to get more consistent defensively, but his potential is real.
Offensively, Lewis has a projectable shot for the NBA. He has a high release, and he shot the ball okay (34.9% from three) on 5.2 attempts per game. He has the potential to develop as a finisher at the rim, but his two-point field goal percentage of 49.5% is a little worrisome. For reference, that is similar to Coby White’s numbers. The hope is a 6-foot-7 forward with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and good leaping ability would finish more than 47.1% at the rim. That is certainly a reason why Lewis ended up undrafted.
Justin Lewis is not a make-or-break player for the Chicago Bulls. However, he was certainly one of the top undrafted rookies available, and he could fit a roster need. Hopefully, the Bulls will find more frontcourt depth in free agency so they don’t have to rely on Lewis.
Still, as a two-way player who can develop in the G-League while providing a decent option for the end of the bench, Lewis is a great get. Bet on his potential and development with NBA coaching, you may have a solid role player for years to come.
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