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Bulls sign Antonio Blakeney to NBA deal

It’s reportedly a two-year minimum contract

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Bulls are rewarding second-year guard Antonio Blakeney with an NBA contract. The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson first reported Wednesday that the deal is a minimum contract and is expected to be for two years, and Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania corroborated the reporting by saying it’s “a guaranteed two-year, minimum contract.” The Bulls announced the signing Thursday morning.

The Bulls gave Blakeney a two-year, two-way contract last season after the 6-foot-4 guard went undrafted out of LSU. He appeared in 19 games and averaged 7.9 points on 37.1 percent shooting in 16.5 minutes per game.

While Blakeney was mostly an ineffective chucker as a rookie in the big leagues, he was a star in the G League for the Windy City Bulls. The 21-year-old put up 32.0 points per game en route to G League Rookie of the Year honors.

Blakeney also put up prolific numbers in the Las Vegas Summer League that just wrapped up. He led the Bulls in scoring at 21.0 points per game, though he shot just 40.0 percent thanks in part to some questionable shot selection.

Blakeney’s chucking style could limit his effectiveness in the NBA, but there’s value in having a cheap microwave scorer at the end of the bench who can create offense for himself. Johnson reports that Blakeney could still see some time in the G League in order to get more consistent playing time.

This deal gives the Bulls 14 guaranteed contracts, and Johnson says it likely concludes the team’s “significant business” for the summer. Unrestricted free agent David Nwaba still hasn’t signed elsewhere yet and could be re-signed with the $4.45 room exception, but current indications are that won’t happen.