Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Bulls sign Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine’s former college teammates

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Bryce Alford has some deep connections with the Chicago Bulls roster, and that could explain why the team signed the 26-year-old to a non-guaranteed training camp contract on Wednesday, according to Spotrac’s Keith Smith:

How deep are Alford’s ties to the Bulls’ organization? While never playing a regular season game in the NBA, Alford spent three seasons on the Oklahoma City Thunder G-League squad from 2017-19, where he was in contact with Bulls head coach Billy Donovan during his tenure.

Alford is also the son of former Indiana University star and current Nevada Wolfpack head coach Steve Alford. In addition to his G-League experience, Alford also played abroad in Germany and Portugal. In college, Alford was in the same freshman class as Zach LaVine. As a senior, he started in the backcourt with Lonzo Ball when he was a freshman.

As I said, for Alford the connections are deep in Chicago. At UCLA, Alford made just under 40% of his threesomes, 82.5% of his free throws, and averaged 13.6 points per game over a solid college career. He’s a heady gamer with an IQ worthy of a coach’s son, but is this his last chance to pursue an NBA dream?

If we’re honest, Alford probably wasn’t signed to battle for any of the Bulls’ roster spots. The team already has a ton of guards with Ball, LaVine, Coby White once he’s healthy, Alex Caruso and rookie Ayo Dosunmu. Not to mention Devon Dotson who appears to be destined for the G-League, which appears to be the most likely landing spot for Alford.

Other members of the Chicago sports media also seem to believe that Alford might have some worth with the Windy City Bulls.

Elias Schuster from Bleacher Nation wrote:

While adding shooting makes sense for the Bulls, the team really needs to address their lack of front court depth. We know backup center Tony Bradley couldn’t play last season due to an injury, and the same goes for starting power forward Patrick Williams.

However, it seems that the Bulls could still use a legitimate, defensive-minded backup power-forward to give the squad the length it needs. From now on, the teams have to use players like Alize Johnson in power forward or even get smaller with Derrick Jones Jr. and Javonte Green.

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