Bulls

Report: Bulls to add Justin Simon on Exhibit 10 contract

Report: Bulls to add Justin Simon on Exhibit 10 contract

According to reports, the Bulls have signed former St. John's guard Justin Simon to an Exhibit 10 contract.

Simon played three seasons of NCAA basketball, one year with Arizona and two years at St. John's under the tutelage of NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin.

The Exhibit 10 contract is a fairly new situation, allowed by the NBA's last Collective Bargaining Agreement. What it means is that a player under this type of contract will get the league's minimum salary on a non-guaranteed deal that can include bonuses up to $50,000. 

The deal will allow Simon to participate in training camp with the Bulls with the goal of making the roster. The most likely scenario in these situations—i.e. when a player does not make the NBA roster— is that the player is waived before the season starts and assigned to that team's NBA G League affiliate.

So in layman's terms, Bulls fans should expect to see Simon in Hoffman Estates with the Windy City Bulls for the 2019-20 season, that is, as long as he doesn't choose to play overseas or elsewhere. With an Exhibit 10 contract, there are two ways a player can guarantee the full amount of their bonus money: spending at least 60 days on the G League affiliate team or getting their Exhibit 10 deal converted into a Two-Way contract (G League+ NBA deal combined, paid based on what league you are playing in at the time).

Simon is an intriguing add for the Bulls. Currently, the Chicago roster doesn't contain any guards shorter than 6-foot-3, and at 6-foot-5 with a massive 6-foot-11 wingspan, Simon certainly fits the mold.

Simon was the 2018-19 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, finishing in the top 10 in the Big East in both blocks and steals. In his junior year, he was also solid offensively, scoring 10.4 points per game while racking up 104 total assists over 34 games.

We all know how Jim Boylen loves players with the "dog" mentality and Simon's aggressive defense surely caught the eye of Boylen and the Bulls front office. 

In the 2019-20 NBA Summer League, Simon played for the Bulls, averaging 6.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. Unfortunately, Simon did not make a single 3-point shot over his NBA Summer League stint with the Bulls but he has shown the ability to hit the 3-point shot at times at the NCAA level. For his college career, he was a 35.1 percent 3-point shooter but those figures were helped by his sophomore season in which he hit 15 of his 36 shots from deep (41.7 percent).

Simon is not likely to shoot it well from the outside right away at the professional level but this is an important thing to monitor as his jump shot—as with most highly-skilled defensive players—will be the swing skill that will impact his ability to potentially make the NBA roster. 

The Bulls reportedly start training camp on October 1 and fans will likely get their first chance to see Simon in action at the first preseason game vs. the Milwaukee Bucks on October 7 on NBC Sports Chicago.

 

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Michael Jordan played the numbers game during Bulls' sweep of Magic

Michael Jordan played the numbers game during Bulls' sweep of Magic

Michael Jordan swore he didn’t miss his final two free throws on purpose.

Nevertheless, there’s no denying this fact: No. 23 finished with 45 points.

“Sometimes, things are very ironic,” Jordan said that May 27, 1996 night after the Bulls swept the Magic out of the Eastern Conference finals.

One year and nine days after the Magic celebrated on the United Center floor after bouncing the Bulls from the playoffs, Jordan had his revenge.

Back then, fresh from coming out of his baseball-driven retirement, Jordan wore No. 45. This time, Superman wore the right cape.

Jordan capped a dominating series with his 45-point performance, finishing with averages of 29.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.3 steals. The rematch wasn’t much of one.

Jordan projected an aura unlike any athlete I’ve covered. Granted, covering him at age 28 and on my first big professional break at the Chicago Tribune, plays into any memory of that dynamic. But between his immaculate postgame wardrobes and the contemplative manner in which he’d consider postgame questions, every press conference felt like an event with a capital “E.”

On this night, Jordan mostly steered clear of any revenge talk. But for a man who slashed and burned his way through a Hall of Fame acceptance speech many years later, to pretend he didn’t remember Nick Anderson saying “No. 45 doesn’t explode like No. 23 used to” the previous year is foolish.

Jordan mostly concentrated his postgame remarks on the wide swath of the roster set to make their first NBA Finals appearance. Ron Harper. Steve Kerr. Jud Buechler. Bill Wennington. Toni Kukoc. Luc Longley. Randy Brown.

This depth proved essential to the Bulls winning an NBA-record 72 games and stampeding to an 11-1 mark through three rounds of the postseason. But as usual, Jordan’s sublime skill and cutthroat competitiveness burned brightest.

“Quite honestly, I don’t think Michael is going to be denied,” Magic coach Brian Hill said that night. “I think this is all about a testament to his will and his excellence as a basketball player.”

Indeed, Jordan scored 45 points as the other four starters combined for 35. Unlike uniform numbers, some things never change.

Every other night through April 15, NBC Sports Chicago is airing the entirety of the Bulls' 1996 NBA championship run. Find the full schedule here.

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Picking four faces for Bulls' Mount Rushmore is harder than it appears

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USA Today

Picking four faces for Bulls' Mount Rushmore is harder than it appears

Who is on the Bulls’ Mount Rushmore?

The assignment isn’t as easy as one might think.

Sure, you start with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. They’re two first-ballot Hall of Famers who served as linchpins for one of the greatest dynasties in the history of professional sports.

But then who?

Along with Jordan and Pippen, Jerry Sloan and Bob Love are the two other retired numbers in franchise history. Phil Jackson coached six championship teams. Johnny “Red” Kerr is an integral and identifiable organizational fixture. Derrick Rose became the youngest most valuable player in NBA history and was on a Hall of Fame trajectory until knee injuries plagued him.

There are emotional arguments for heart-and-soul guys like Norm Van Lier and Joakim Noah. And this doesn’t even account for people like Chet Walker, Artis Gilmore and Jerry Krause.

Like we said, it’s hard. But here’s a stab:

Picking four faces for a Bulls all-time Mount Rushmore

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