Report: Bulls sign D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera
The Bulls might be retooling, but they’re emphasizing a playoff berth this season. They wouldn’t have signed Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, otherwise.
So, it’s important for Chicago to plug all its holes.
A key one: Backup point guard. The Bulls have several candidates – Jerian Grant, Isaiah Canaan and Spencer Dinwiddie – but none who’ve proven to be a reliable NBA rotation player.
Another option now: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
Smith-Rivera is probably headed to the D-League as an affiliate player after the Bulls waive him. But Chicago has just 13 players – two shy of the regular-season roster limit – on guaranteed salaries, and one is Dinwiddie, who has produced only spotty NBA-caliber play in two seasons with the Pistons. It isn’t inconceivable the Bulls carry four point guards to increase their odds of finding a decent backup and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera claims the last spot.
But that’s a lot of ifs, and the odds are firmly against Smith-Rivera sticking beyond the preseason.
Smith-Rivera went undrafted out of Georgetown this year. He’s a scoring guard, capable of shooting from outside and converting at the rim when he gets there. But his 6-foot-3 size demands he become more of a point guard at the next level. His playmaking improved over a four years in college, but not nearly enough yet. A lack of explosiveness makes skill development even more of a necessity.
He’ll likely undertake that challenge with the Windy City Bulls. First, he’ll have an opportunity to exceed expectations with the parent club.