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Chicago Bulls 2022 Summer League Roster Primer, part one: the fringe tryouts

a closer look at the guys we don’t know

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-St. John vs DePaul Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Summer League offers the team and fans a chance to take a look at some of the younger players on the roster who need more development or will be playing for the first time in a Bulls uniform. The big showcase this year will be Dalen Terry, Chicago’s latest first round draft pick.

The Bulls active and two-way roster is technically full, so it’s extremely unlikely that players that don’t have that designation will make the team. However they may be on the GLeague roster this year, and of course are ‘playing for’ the other 29 teams and a potential NBA contract.

We’ll have a preview of the known Bulls roster invitees tomorrow. For today let’s look closer at these guys on the fringe.

Ethan Thompson

This will be Thompson’s second season in a row playing for Chicago’s Summer League team. He played in five games last time out in Vegas, averaging 8.6 points in 22.8 minutes. He impressed enough to earn an invite to training camp via an Exhibit 10 deal. Thompson didn’t make the final roster but landed on the Windy City Bulls. He ended up playing 34 games for the WCB, averaging 11.1 points and 3.8 rebounds while averaging around 26 minutes per game.

Three-point shooting was Thompson’s strength in college. With the WCB he took around 3.7 attempts per game, making 31.5 percent of those attempts, which is an ok average. It’s clear he took a bit of a step back in that regard given his numbers in college but he still poses as a threat to knock down shots from deep. He looks to be a guy to get a good chunk of minutes in Chicago’s backcourt during Summer League. He will be playing for another training camp invite whether from the Bulls or from another team.

Perrion Callendret

Perrion Callendret will be playing his second Summer League with Chicago. He last played for them in 2019-20, only appearing in one game. He most recently played for the Windy City Bulls last season and averaged 4.1 points and 3.4 assists while playing 20 minutes a game. He will serve as guard depth mostly but given none of them names mentioned so far are pure point guards, there is a chance he could be starting.

Sindarius Thornwell

Sindarius Thornwell will be there to give depth to the SummerBulls’ backcourt. He was a second round pick in 2017 by the Milwaukee Bucks but was eventually moved to the Clippers on draft day. He played 137 games during his two seasons for LA, seeing a huge drop in minutes during the second year. Thornwell then went to the G-League before signing contracts with New Orleans Pelicans and Orlando Magic. This past season, Thornwell decided to take his talents to Europe and play for ratiopharm Ulm in Germany. He averaged 13.3 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting nearly e field and 50 percent from the field and a whopping 40.6 percent from three.

Thornwell can play both guard positions and will be hoping to find a way back into the NBA with a good performance in Vegas.

Javon Freeman-Liberty

Javon Freeman-Liberty is very familiar with the city of Chicago. He went to Whitney Young High School and played for DePaul during his final two college seasons. He averaged a career high 21.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in his senior season with the Blue Demons. Freeman-Liberty was named to the Second Team All-Big East last year but went undrafted. He can put up points in a hurry while also shooting a solid percentage from three at 36.8 percent on five attempts. At 6’4, he rebounds well and will help defensively in terms of aiding the Bulls big men along with eliminating second chance opportunities.

Now he gets to make an impact with his hometown team. He also plays at guard and will be likely coming off the bench for the SummerBulls. Given this is his first Summer League out of college, he will be playing for a training camp invite/roster spot but opportunities in the G-League or Europe.

Carlik Jones

Carlik Jones is another player on Chicago’s roster who spent time in the G-League last season. The 6’0 guard averaged 35 minutes for the Texas Legends, scoring 21.1 points along with 8.2 assists. Previously Jones spent time with the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks via 10-day contracts. He will be fighting with some of the guys mentioned above for minutes at the point guard spot. Jones has shown that he can score as well as be a facilitator. He could have a role on this Summer League team as a guy who can run an offense and create shots for others.

Makur Maker

Makur Maker, cousin of former NBA lottery pick Thon, spent his past season playing with the Sydney Kings in Australia NBL after going undrafted. He averaged 7.8 and 5.3 rebounds in 16.8 minutes while shooting 45 percent from the field. Maker will serve as backup center depth for Marko Simonovic and could make an impact in his reserve minutes. He will be there to help with rebounding, finish opportunities he gets inside the paint, along with stretching the floor at times (36.1 percent from deep on 2.3 attempts per game).

The hope for the former five star recruit will be to find a way to get onto an NBA roster even if it’s through a G-League affiliate. There is also the chance he goes back to playing in the NBL too.

Akoldah Gak

Akoldah Gak is another player who also spent this past year playing in Australia. He didn’t get much playing time for the Illawarra Hawks, averaging just around three minutes per games and appearing in only eight of them. Gak went undrafted in this most recent draft. He will be here to serve as power forward depth to Lewis. At 6’11, he will provide rim protection and a big body to help out on the glass.

At 19 years old there is a chance a team sees him as a player they can develop.

Henri Drell

Henri Drell is another WCB player who will be on this roster. He played 29 games in the G-League last season, averaging 17.9 minutes while scoring 5.24 points and grabbing three rebounds. He previously spent six years playing in Europe. Drell will be wing depth for the Bulls, playing likely behind Terry. Drell can provide some rim protection despite playing from the perimeter. He can get to the hoop a bit but struggled shooing the ball both in the G-League and Europe (37.8 percent from the field with the WCB last season).

Defense is his calling card and he will help Chicago in terms of wing defense. Here is a scouting report from our pals at Peachtree Hoops on Drell.

Justin Wright-Foreman

Justin Wright-Foreman is another candidate who will be battling for point guard minutes. He appeared in four games for the Jazz in 2019-20 before playing in the G-League. He then spent time in France and Turkey before playing coming back to the G-League this past season. He played in 14 games, averaging 24 minutes and scoring 12.3 points on 40 percent shooting from three. Wright-Foreman can space the floor and will help the Bulls offense when it comes to shooting. He’s shown that he can make defenses pay if they leave him open. However, he isn’t that much of a facilitator, which could hamper his minutes as other guys will be looking for touches as well and lack of playmaking can slow down any offense.

Tomorrow: Dalen Terry, Marko Simonovic, Malcolm Hill, Justin Lewis