Bulls

Windy City Bulls roundup: Rawle Alkins

Bulls

Every two weeks we will be looking at one player performing well with the Windy City Bulls in the NBA G League and take a look at how they could help the Chicago Bulls (NBA). In his two years at Arizona, Rawle Alkins averaged 16 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3 assists per game, while having a great defensive rating of 101.3. 

The Bulls signed Rawle Alkins to a two-way contract because at 6-foot 5, 220 lbs., Alkins represents the type of versatile prospect who could help change the fortunes of their struggling defense.

Alkins’ ceiling—like most athletic 3-and-D prospects—will be dictated by just how much his jump shot improves. Through 11 games with the Windy City Bulls, it seems like he has made some big strides in terms of spacing the floor. He has made 48.6 percent of his 3-pointers (on an admittedly small sample size) and while that number is due for some regression—Alkins shot 36.5 percent from 3-point range in college—his improved free throw percentage would at least hint at the his shot being more fluid.


On top of the improvement in shooting, Alkins has continued to play good defense and provide solid rebounding. He is averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds and just under 3 assists per game and has played a major hand in Windy City’s solid defense.

The Windy City Bulls have the 12th best defensive rating in the league (104.5). Alkins’ steal and block rates are not near where they were in college, but the increased pace of G League basketball has allowed Alkins to flourish as an offensive player.

In his two years at Arizona Alkins had a 14 percent assist rate. In the G League he has a 19 percent assist rate, a huge testament to how much head coach Charlie Henry has trusted him with the ball in his hand in the absence of Tyler Ulis. He has improved at hitting the big man with a pocket pass in the pick and roll, but still is a turnover-prone player at this stage in his development.

He wouldn’t be expected to set up the offense with the (NBA) Bulls but having another capable ball-handler on the floor would help take pressure off of Zach LaVine. He is another threat to push the ball up the floor after grabbing a rebound and his ability as a switch defender may make him a perfect compliment to a lineup with Jabari Parker and LaVine on the floor.

Making 3-point shots off the catch is a good indicator of development as a shooter, but your accuracy while moving says a lot about your absolute ceiling. Alkins is hitting 3-point shots off the dribble and—most importantly—he is knocking down 3-pointers while coming off of pin down screens and dribble handoffs.


Alkins is an aggressive player—something you can tell from his 1.6 offensive rebounds per game—but seems to understand the difference between a good, aggressive shot attempt and a reckless decision. Despite the team's leading shot-taker (Ulis at 18 shots per game) missing time, Alkins is still at a respectable 12 field goal attempts per game. He knows his role and the fact that he isn’t forcing things on offense bodes well for his fit in Hoiberg’s system.

 

His offensive rating (100.7) is not good and a big part of that is the fact that he is averaging just under 3 turnovers per game. But his 25 percent usage rate is way higher than it would be in lineups with LaVine, Parker, Antonio Blakeney and Lauri Markkanen. Alkins is due for a call up, and playing some combination of he, Chandler Hutchison, Shaq Harrison, Justin Holiday with Parker and Carter could make for a solid defensive look.

With incredible athleticism, an improved 3-point stroke and a willingness to do the dirty work on the glass, all signs point to Alkins being a rotation level talent now.