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The Bulls aren’t even trying with the back-end of the roster

other teams are seizing the opportunity to develop intriguing prospects, AKME not very ‘competitive’

NBA: Chicago Bulls-Media Day David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

AKME have done a lot of things differently than the GarPax regime, but not when it comes with the end their roster. The last few spots and 2 two-way players have been effectively wasted, with the same no-hopers in those roles all year.

At this point of the season, teams can now use 10-day contracts to check out available players. The Bulls should be churning to find a diamond in the rough (hopefully a player that could shoot).

Instead the Bulls have players who are duplicative and/or not prospects taking up these spots. Dalen Terry is out of the rotation, but he was drafted in the first round as a 20-year-old project, so it makes sense he gets GLeague assignments even with an NBA contract. But centers-only Tony Bradley (25) and Marko Simonovic (23) have guaranteed contracts yet are also out of the rotation. Simonovic languishes in the GLeague, while Bradley was away from the team for personal reasons and then COVID and nobody seems to notice.

Chicago has at least been somewhat active on the two-way contract front this season, waiving the injured Justin Lewis to take a look at Kostas Antetokounmpo, younger brother to Giannis, and subsequently cutting Kostas to make room for Jones. But he, too, doesn’t feel like an NBA-caliber talent, and is 25 years old already. Malcolm Hill is even older at 27. You’d think the two-way slots would go to either projects or someone who can immediately help when injuries pile up, and these two offer neither.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are auditioning the exact kind of player Chicago could really use: veteran big man DeMarcus Cousins, who proved last year in splitting his time between the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets that he has some gas left in the tank, at least as a burly, athletic option off the bench. There’s plenty one could say about how the Lakers are mishandling the top of their roster, but at least they are doing their darnedest to maximize the fringes of it.

Chicago’s front office needs to extend its interest in its own roster beyond just a top eight. The advent of adding players via 10-day contracts this season and really exploring two-way contracts is an incredibly important resource that other front offices are happily exploiting. And as the trade season heats up, there will be throw-ins that are waived and the Bulls should take the opportunity to pounce. But it instead seems like they are happy with the ‘continuity’ of known commodities that they know will never play. But it also means they don’t have to eat their salaries, though both are making the minimum it is a guaranteed minimum.

Maybe nobody ‘hits’. The Bulls do have a recent example of finding someone off this scrap heap in Javonte Green. If they nailed just one of these fringe pickups, especially in an area of need (as mentioned: a big man who can play, and shooting), it can spell the difference between winning and losing during the doldrums of the regular season.

Chicago has all 15 of its roster spots filled at present, plus both its two-way slots. Bradley and Simonovic are cashing checks and collecting dust on the bench. Both two-way players are not prospects, while Dalen Terry is one that could use the GLeague reps. Although the Reinsdorfs surely loathe paying guys not to play, it would behoove Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to move on from one or both of their deep-bench centers’ guaranteed deals and try to find some piece who could maybe, one day, actually contribute on an NBA court.