Malcolm Hill back at Bulls on two-way deal


The Bulls are using their second two-way player opening to sign a very promising young prospect…just kidding, it’s Malcolm Hill again.

Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to break the news. The Bulls had offered Hill a qualifying reciprocal offer in June, and HoopsRumors confirmed he accepted this QO and has a one-year contract.

Expected, but still a disappointment. Bringing back Hill, a 27-year-old swingman who is what he is at this point (who is definitely not an NBA-caliber player), smacks of the old regime. It’s not like adding Hill instead of a young upstart saves Jerry Reinsdorf any money either, so it’s really just a terrible basketball decision.

If the Bulls were so desperate to retain Hill, the team could have simply signed him to an affiliate contract with their G League side. The Bulls didn’t need to blow him out of a two-way deal, no one else was going to get him on that better deal.

In 19 NBA games last year as his first in the NBA, Hill failed to carve out a consistent rotation. In his 19 games with the Hawks and Bulls, the winger averaged just 3.8 points on .462/.362/.786 shooting, along with 1.8 rebounds, in 11.2 minutes per game . Hill was undrafted from the University of Illinois in 2017 and spent time overseas with various clubs before trying his hand at the NBA ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season.

It’s worse because Chicago’s other two-way player, 20-year-old former Marquette forward Justin Lewis, tore his ACL during a practice last month. It’s possible they’ll choose to release Lewis and look to add one of the current players on a training camp deal on a new two-way deal instead, but there’s no reason to take Hill out again. , except maybe as a favor for someone?

As for where the Bulls might look for a replacement for Lewis, it may come down to training camp hopes Javon Freeman-Liberty, a 6’4″ shooter from DePaul, and Carlik Jones, a point guard. 6’1″ game that made the All-NBA G League third team last year after leaving Louisville in 2021. Jones had some fun Summer League times with Chicago in July after making cameos in five NBA games last year between the Mavericks and Nuggets.

There will also be opportunities during training camp for players cut by other teams.

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