Bulls Insider

Forward thinking: Bulls fill out roster with two signings

/ by K.C. Johnson
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Bulls Insider

After narrowly missing out on wooing Paul Millsap, the Bulls moved on to fill their final roster spots by signing veteran wing Stanley Johnson and power forward Alize Johnson.

Stanley Johnson, the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, owns career averages of 6.2 points and 3.1 rebounds over six seasons with the Pistons, Pelicans and Raptors. He averaged 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 61 games, including 13 starts for Toronto last season. His signing was first reported by The Athletic and later confirmed to NBC Sports Chicago by a league source.

Alize Johnson, a second-round pick of the Pacers in 2018, has averaged 2.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 49 career NBA games. The explosive leaper spent last season with the Nets, logging 22 playoff minutes. His signing was first reported by ESPN.com and later confirmed to NBC Sports Chicago by a league source.

At 6 feet, 7 inches and 242 pounds with a 7 foot wingspan, Stanley Johnson offers another dual forward option for coach Billy Donovan. Though, like Troy Brown Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr., Johnson isn’t a traditional power forward for a roster largely bereft of size.

Alize Johnson plays bigger than his listed 6 feet, 7 inches because of his jumping ability. He can log backup power forward minutes and has potential as a strong rebounder.

Both Johnsons are 25.

The Bulls have placed an emphasis on playing faster offensively this season, and management favors versatile players who can guard and play multiple positions.

Millsap would’ve been an ideal addition but chose to sign with the Nets. Past expected starters Nikola Vucevic and Patrick Williams, the Bulls’ big-man options with size are Tony Bradley and rookie Marko Simonovic. The latter two offer size, and the Bulls are high on the potential impact and rim protection ability of Bradley.


But look for Donovan to employ multiple small-ball lineups. DeMar DeRozan also has played power forward extensively over the last two seasons with the Spurs.

Stanley Johnson is more defensive- than offensive-minded, though he does possess solid athleticism and finishing skills. He averaged 0.9 steals in just 16.5 minutes last season.

The Bulls are now at 15 contracts, plus one two-way signing in Devon Dotson. They will sign some players to training camp invitations---outside shooting option Matt Thomas is one, according to RealGM and Spotrac ---and also still have one two-way contract to finalize. They also own a $5.1 million trade exception from the Daniel Theis sign-and-trade transaction, which could allow them to trade a player into that salary slot and waive a current player.

Training camp begins in roughly three weeks.

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