How much is some point guard insurance worth?
For the Bulls, the magic number is $9 million. Nulling the qualifying offer they extended to him earlier this month, the Bulls extended Ryan Arcidiacono on a three-year, $9 million deal that will keep him as a Bull through the 2021-22 season.
Using early bird rights on Arcidiacono’s contract, the team will not use any of their remaining cap space on his deal.
Arcidiacono became a staple role player for the Bulls last season, playing in all but one game and starting 32 of them for the injured Kris Dunn. Through struggles with inconsistency, possibly due to an injury sustained mid-season, Arcidiacono averaged 6.7 points and 3.3 assists per game.
With diving catches and crafty steals, the former Villanova guard earned a reputation for hustle and perseverance last season. The reputation made Arcidiacono a favorite within the Bulls organization, according to several reports, which ultimately lead to their decision to extend him.
With Coby White and recently signed Tomas Satoransky now on the roster, and Dunn still present barring a trade, Arcidiacono’s starting days in Chicago are likely behind him. He will instead serve as a limited reserve and injury insurance for the Bulls’ crowded back court.
You know that phrase, “If you can’t beat them, join them”?
Luke Kornet has already beaten the Bulls – several times – but is joining them anyway. Kornet reportedly signed a two-year deal with the team for an unspecified amount. His contract, like many the Bulls have handed out this offseason, is expected to have a team option on the final year.
To give you an idea about just how dominant Kornet has been against the Bulls, here’s his per game stats against them: 18 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 52% shooting from the field and 50% shooting from three-point range. His season stats against all other teams look like a completely different player: 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists per game on just 37.7% field goal percentage and 36.3% from three-point land.
Whether the Bulls get the 18-point Kornet or the seven-point Kornet, they’re getting a quality bench player with a unique skill set. Similar to the 7’0 Lauri Markkanen, 7’1 Kornet has serious shooting ability. He averaged more than four three-point attempts in just 17 minutes per game last season.
On the defensive end, Kornet is one of the most mobile big men in the league. Both in the paint, where he averages a block per game, and outside, where he averages just under one steal per game, Kornet is a defensive asset.
His role with the team, for now, remains somewhat unknown. But the most realistic fit for him is backing up Markkanen, and accompanying some of the other front court players the Bulls have already signed, including Thaddeus Young.
Both Arcidiacono and Kornet started their NBA careers on a two-way contract with their team’s G-League affiliate. And that’s where 20-year old prospect Adam Mokoka will begin his.
The Bulls signed the undrafted Mokoka on a one-year two-way contract with the Windy City Bulls. Mokoka withdrew from the 2018 draft amid lessening interest from NBA teams and has spent the past season playing internationally, most recently with the Mega Bemax team in Serbia.
The native of France is an insanely athletic shooting guard with solid defensive mechanics. His 6’5 height, and long arms allow him to guard most positions on the floor.
The only knock against Mokoka is his inconsistent shooting, which isn’t unusual for a player his age. Still, if he can find a shooting stroke during his time with the G-League, he’ll be a real threat off the bench for the Bulls.
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