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G-League report: Jarrell Eddie reflects on 10-day contract opportunity with Bulls

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solid 3-and-D guy blocked at the next level

NBA: Preseason-Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jarell Eddie has slipped in and out of Bulls fans’ collective conscious over the last eight months.

And while I sat to watch the second half of the Windy City Bulls matchup against the Lakeland Magic on Sunday afternoon, he slipped out of my conscious as well. Bulls.com writer Sam Smith was there, and he was telling amazing stories about Joakim Noah so I got a little bit distracted...

Anyway, Eddie was on a few Bulls fans’ radars when he was part of this season’s training camp with a fringe opportunity to take the final roster spot as a solid 3-and-D wing. But then again, how many Bulls fans really knew who he was, because he literally wore a nameless and numberless jersey at media day.

Eddie’s preseason with the Bulls started out about as promising as possible. It was an Oct. 3 game against the New Orleans Pelicans. On a broken play, a desperation pass at the end of the shot clock from current G League teammate Ryan Arcidiacono led to an Eddie 3-point field goal that sealed a win.

Though overall he didn’t do much in the preseason, averaging 0.6 points and 0.4 rebounds in limited playing time across five contests.

After the formality of him getting waived on Oct. 16 while the team simultaneously added point guard Kay Felder off of waivers, Eddie signed with the Bulls G League squad on Nov. 4.

He briefly re-entered the conscious of Bulls fans when the team announced that they had signed him to a 10-day contract on March 1. But neither the results nor the opportunities were there as he took just one shot (that he missed) in three total minutes of playing time during his cursory stay with the big league Bulls.

Eddie said that Bulls assistant coach Nate Loenser (who previously coached him with the Windy City Bulls) and Justin Holiday (whom he works out with during the offseason) took him under his wing during his time with Chicago.

“My ten day with the Bulls was kind of unusual because they had me assigned here in Windy City a lot of the time so I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I wanted to with Chicago. But you just kind of learn something new every ten day, what you can bring to the team. Different schemes and things like that.”

Both Windy City and Chicago run the same schemes, which Eddie said eases some of the difficulty of moving up a level. However, he’s fallen into the same trap as star G League teammate Antonio Blakeney of not being able to transfer wild G League success over to the NBA.

“It is tough because it’s a big adjustment with your role. The rhythm of the game is different. Playing here (Windy City) you play 35 or 40 minutes, you’re in a rhythm the whole game because you’re playing. But having to sit and wait for when they want to see what you can do (in Chicago with) a short period of [playing] time it’s tough adjusting to that drastic change in minutes and your role. [But], you roll with it [and] play your game when you are out there.”

Now, Eddie spends his time quietly dominating the G League. This season he has been the Windy City Bulls leading scorer outside of Blakeney, averaging 17.2 points with shooting splits of 47.0/47.8/93.0. He’s the only player in the G League that shoots over 45 percent from triple land while shooting at least 90 percent from the free-throw stripe and he has notched two 30+ point games this season. He’s third in the G League in both 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage.

On Sunday afternoon in a 104-100 win against the Lakeland Magic , Orlando’s affiliate, Eddie drained 27 points, finishing 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point line.

Elite shooting is Eddie’s most marketable NBA skill. Across three G League seasons, he’s sniped the ball at a 45 percent clip from behind the 3-point line including a full season in 2015-2016 where he shot at a 52 percent clip from deep (his true-shooting percentage that year was a bonkers 71.8 percent).

This play below is impressive because he runs to the corner to make himself available for a driving Alex Hamilton III. If he doesn’t move, that pass probably can’t be made.

As a 6-foot-7-inch wing with lengthy arms and a filled out frame he has the kind of 3-and-D potential that is so highly coveted in the NBA today.

I just feel like I’m a better all around player than people give me credit for. I do hang my hat on shooting the ball well, but I’m all right at making plays, I’m all right defensively, and I’m a pretty good rebounder as well. [I want] to show people that I’m a solid defender. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m a liability out there. The way I’m able to score the ball, I’m not really worried about my offense as much but I want to work on my defense on the other end of the floor.

The path to the NBA via the Bulls won’t be an easy one for Eddie. Blocking him at the NBA level is Zach LaVine, a surging David Nwaba (likely destined for an extension this offseason) plus Denzel Valentine and Blakeney.

If the Bulls stay put in terms of their positioning in the draft order, it’s likely that they will take a younger, more athletic, and simply better version of Eddie in Mikal Bridges from Villanova, Miles Bridges from Michigan State, or Kevin Knox from Kentucky. Meanwhile, at 26 years old, Eddie is past the age where most teams view players as a development project worth investing in.

There isn’t an obvious place on this team for Eddie barring an unforeseen circumstance. But if Eddie moves elsewhere after this season, I’ll miss what has been a pleasant person to interview. There wasn’t ever a sense that he wants to rush through the questions to finish the interview quickly like there is with other players.

Unfortunately, Eddie didn’t have much of a chance to endear himself to Bulls fans this season. However, his focus is probably more on slipping back into the consciousness of general managers who control the whereabouts of his next NBA job than making a good impression on fans.