Son of Bulls legend, Scotty Pippen Jr. gets chance in NBA

Scotty Pippen Jr., Chicago Bulls (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Scotty Pippen Jr., Chicago Bulls (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

As the son of one of the greatest players in Chicago Bulls history, Scotty Pippen Jr. has always had to live life following in his father’s enormous footsteps. But now that he’s accepted his first NBA two-way contract, he’s taken his first small step towards escaping that shadow and making a name— his own name, that is — for himself in the league.

Although he wouldn’t hear his name called at the 2022 NBA Draft, Scotty would remain undeterred in his efforts to make it big in the league.

Unlike his father, who joined a mediocre-at-best basketball program at Central Arkansas, Scotty would sign an offer with the storied SEC member, Vanderbilt University. In his three years with the Commodores, Scotty would make significant growth as a scoring threat and playmaker. Pippen Jr. posted averages of 20.6 points, 4.6 assists, and 1.9 steals per game across his sophomore and junior seasons. In fact, he led Vanderbilt in all three categories in both 2021 and 2022, clearly defining him as the team’s leader.

It’s interesting that despite these performances and NBA pedigree, Scotty has never attracted a ton of attention as a prospect. He was not an RSCI top 100 recruit coming out of high school in 2019 and was not mocked by experts to be selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft, even after three strong seasons at Vanderbilt. As we all saw, those experts ended up being right in the end as Scotty would go on to be undrafted after all.

Standing at 6’1″ with a slim 170-pound frame, I believe concerns surrounding Scotty’s lack of size hold him back in the eyes of NBA scouts. These issues could be overcome if was supremely talented as a shooter or passer, but those areas are actually two of his biggest weaknesses. In his final collegiate season, Pippen Jr. shot 32.5% from deep and only averaged one more assist than turnover per game.

Although the Chicago Bulls did not draft him, Scotty Pippen Jr. intends to carry on his father’s legacy by signing a two-way contract with the Lakers.

Still, Pippen Jr. has not relented in pursuit of chasing his NBA dreams. After going undrafted, Scotty has decided to sign a two-way contract from the Los Angeles Lakers and will play in the NBA Summer League. This will be his first real opportunity to showcase his talents against the best talent in the world and could end with him winning an actual roster spot.

With the Lakers Summer League team, Scotty will be joining up with another NBA legend’s son desperate to make the league in Shareef O’Neal — son of the great Shaquille O’Neale. For that reason, this Summer League roster projects to be a lot of fun to watch from a drama perspective, even if they don’t end up actually being a good team.

That doesn’t mean the Summer League projects to be nothing but low-brow entertainment for Scotty, however, as the Lakers present a genuine chance to make it to the NBA. The Lakers are likely looking to overhaul the roster this summer after the failure of last year’s veteran superteam. LA also only made one selection in this year’s draft at No. 35, meaning there isn’t much else youth on the roster to compete with.

As we saw with Stanley Johnson this past season, the Lakers offer a real chance for players to find a role even if other teams have passed on them. While most of Pippen’s playtime will come in the G League this year, he may get the chance to play some spot minutes and continue working on his game as the season progresses.

On behalf of Pippen Ain’t Easy and all Chicago Bulls fans, we wish you good luck Scotty!

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