R.J. Hunter was a late first-round pick just a year ago, but he didn’t make the Celtics this season thanks to their roster crunch. Now the Bulls have jumped on this opportunity to add some shooting to the roster, as ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reports they’ve agreed to a one-year deal with the lanky guard. The Vertical’s Shams Charania first reported that the two sides were in “serious” discussions on a deal.
As he’s the 15th man on the roster, there’s a good chance this move won’t impact the Bulls that much. But it’s still a signing that makes sense given the lack of shooting on the team.
Now, Hunter hasn’t actually been an effective shooter in a few years. In his limited minutes with the Celtics’ big club last year (36 games), he shot just over 30 percent on nearly two attempts per game. In eight D-League games, he was at under 30 percent on almost seven attempts per game. And going back to his final year of college at Georgia State, he shot 30.5 percent on 7.5 attempts per contest.
But the kid has a nice stroke, and he hit 36.5 percent and 39.5 percent, respectively, in his first two years of college. Those solid percentages were on high volume, so there’s a good shooter in there somewhere. Whether that actually manifests itself in the NBA remains to be seen, and who knows if he can actually defend at an NBA level, but this is a smart, low-risk move on a youngster with talent.