This is the current state of the Chicago Bulls point guard situation: get all possible discarded Phoenix Suns.
The Bulls have signed Shaquille Harrison for point guard depth, a guy who the Phoenix Suns waived on Oct. 15 in favor of Elie Okobo, De’Anthony Melton, and Isaiah Canaan. They signed another castoff in Tyler Ulis to a two-way slot just last week.
Both Bulls two-way slots were taken and they had a full NBA roster too, so to make room the Omer Asik era (second edition) in Chicago has now officially come to an end. The Bulls owe the veteran Turkish center $11.2 million this season, and $3 million in guaranteed money after that (that can be stretched across three seasons).
[Credit the Bulls for not just keeping Omer on roster for insurance money, though maybe they couldn’t do that anyway...I do not know how that stuff works to be honest... -yfbb]
Harrison is 25 years old with only one NBA season under his belt after spending four collegiate seasons at Tulsa. The number that pops out about him in college is that he never shot over 26.7 percent from 3-point land for a single season. Here’s what DraftExpress.com said about him in 2015 before his senior season.
At 6’4, Harrison has nice size for a combo guard, although his overall package of athletic tools aren’t overwhelmingly impressive. He has long arms, but a very skinny frame at around 190 pounds. He will need to improve his overall strength level to compete with NBA players and hold up over an 82 game season. He has above average speed and explosiveness that allows him to make nice plays in transition or above the rim at times, but doesn’t dominate opponents in the AAC athletically.
The majority of his possessions come out of pick and rolls, and if he can improve as a facilitator, NBA teams will get a clearer picture of how he fits into their offense. He is a crafty slasher who can turn the corner off the screen and get to the rim with nice timing and footwork, but doesn’t always have the quickness or advanced ball-handling skills needed to shed his defender, which leads to contested shots in the paint. This is true of isolation situations as well, as he just doesn’t have the dribbling skills at this point to navigate through traffic for a clean look. Harrison took the 17th most shots of any players in college basketball at the rim, according to Synergy Sports Technology, but made just 48.6% of these attempts. With his smaller frame, he will have to develop better touch on his floater to score consistently over the defense once he gets into the paint.
After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft, Harrison latched on with the Phoenix Suns G League affiliate. In the great tank race of 2017-2018 last season, he got some run with the big league Suns. In 23 games, he averaged 16.7 minutes, 6.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. His shooting was still abysmal though.
What Harrison does bring is some competence on the defensive side of the ball. At 6-foot-4-inches he has good size for his position and has active hands. He’s a better passer than his 2.4 assists per game indicated last season given the cast of characters he was playing with on the second unit of a Suns team that finished with the worst record in the league last season.
Right now, the Bulls are throwing point guards at the wall and hoping that they stick. Kris Dunn should be back for the next game, thankfully, as we’ve seen a ton of minutes going to Cameron Payne, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Antonio Blakeney that may be used for further tryouts like Harrison.