Bulls rookie ranks 3rd among Summer League prospects

Justin Lewis, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Justin Lewis, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Although the Chicago Bulls only had one pick in this year’s draft, they still very well may have walked away with two of the league’s best rookies in tow. Joining Chicago’s first-round selection Dalen Terry, the undrafted Justin Lewis looks to prove why he was such a sought-after prospect in the first place.

In a recent article by Bleacher Report, Lewis ranked third on their list of the top undrafted prospects at the 2022 NBA Summer League. Other notable mentions include Ron Harper Jr. being ranked 11th, and University of Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn placing 17th on their list. Lewis, however, has a very strong case to be deserving of the top spot here.

“His role for Chicago would be defined and limited to spotting up and finishing fast-break buckets. Earning a regular role will come down to Lewis’ defense, which wasn’t as effective as his tools suggest it could have been,” says B/R’s Jonathan Wasserman, “Physically, he is built incredibly similar to Jae Crowder. Improving his defensive reads and concentration could ultimately be Lewis’ swing skills.”

Comparing his skill set to Jae Crowder may not wow some people, but if Lewis truly projects to become a player similar to one who’s been an important starter for an NBA Finalist team, then that’s something I can definitely get on board with.

Chicago Bulls rookie Justin Lewis is one of the most interesting prospects in the 2022 NBA Summer League.

The only two players that were ranked ahead of Lewis in Wasserman’s list were Overtime Elite’s Jean Montero and Michael Foster Jr. of the G League Ignite. Ironically, Wasserman actually had Lewis being drafted at No. 42 in his final mock draft, ahead of both Montero and Foster Jr. For reference Wasserman had Montero being taken at No. 43, and Foster Jr. at No. 50 overall. For that reason, it feels odd that he didn’t place Lewis atop his undrafted rookie rankings.

In our own comprehensive two-round mock draft here at Pippen Ain’t Easy, Lewis was projected to go 45th overall, with Montero being taken 49th and soon after Foster Jr. coming 51st. I genuinely believe Lewis is the best undrafted rookie from this year’s class, but it’s hard to be mad about his top 3 placement.

Multiple media outlets also thought very highly of Lewis, including The Ringer (ranking him as the 37th best prospect in the draft),  ESPN (42nd), and The Athletic (43rd). Fortunately, we’ll soon see what Lewis is all about as Chicago’s Summer League schedule is set to begin soon on Friday, July 8.

While most fans will be tuning in to see how No. 18 overall selection Dalen Terry performs, Lewis is without a doubt the second-most intriguing name on the Bulls’ Summer League roster. Already signed on a two-way contract, the undrafted rookie will get ample opportunity to prove himself.

After the Summer League, we can expect Lewis to log most of his minutes in the G League. Hopefully this will help him develop into a solid two-way player at the wing, something any NBA team would want. Since he’s on a two-way contract, Lewis is also eligible to be called up to the main roster for a maximum of 50 days in case the Bulls encounter any injuries or setbacks that require a little backup.

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