Although this was only his first year in the NBA, Hill will be 27 by the end of October and is far from a development project. Hill spent four years in college with Illinois collecting an impressive resume before spending four years playing abroad.
Fortunately for Hill, the Bulls have had a lot of success turning previously unmade talent into essential core parts, as we’ve seen with Alex Caruso and Javonte Green. Shams Charania of The Athletic first broke the news of Hill’s new deal with the Bulls on Wednesday.
The Chicago Bulls officially filled all 17 positions on the roster for the 2022-23 season following the duo’s signature of Malcolm Hill.
With all 15 main roster spots occupied and two-way bull contracts now, this means the slate for the upcoming season is now flat – bar for any surprise last-minute trades.
- guards: Zach Lavigne, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Goran Dragic, Ayo Dosonmo, Kobe White
- Attackers: DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Jafonte Green, Derek Jones Jr., Justin Lewis (two-way), Malcolm Hill (two-way)
- Positions: Nikola Vucevic, Andre Drummond, Tony Bradley, Mark Simonovic
It also means that none of Chicago’s Exhibit 10 signers Carlik Jones and Javon Freeman-Liberty will make the full roster, even though they both showed a lot of promise in the Las Vegas Summer League. They will now either head to Chicago’s G League, or join former Chicago Bulls teammates Chris Dunn, Devon Dotson, and Tyler Cook for the free dealership market.
Hill himself will spend a fair amount of time in the G League, as his duo contract only allows him to spend a maximum of 50 games on the NBA main roster. Hopefully some time with the Windy City Bulls will allow his personal game to blossom, averaging 18.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in an unbelievable 71.4% real shooting percentage in eight G League matches last year.
However, it is difficult to shake off the idea that the bulls could have pursued a reclamation project with a perceived higher roof. Jarrett Culver, Sharife Cooper, Louis King, and Jahm’ius Ramsey are just a handful of the many talented young players still available at free agency, all of whom I was very happy to see the Bulls provide an experience.
At the end of the day, both of these players were released from their previous teams despite the “potential” they thought they had. Hill, on the other hand, is a Midwestern kid and former Illinois star who has developed a strong relationship with his Chicago locker room mates. He knows the blueprints, plays a position the Bulls need, and most importantly provides the energy and hustle you want to see from the end of the bench player.
Even if you’d like to see the Bulls sign one of their summer league superstars or swing their home ground on a legitimate player, it’s hard to be alarmed by a hardworking worker like Hill as the 17th man in the squad. This is especially true when he showed flashes of being a high-quality 3D player. Whether or not that ability can translate to an NBA level will ultimately decide whether this is a great signing.