3 rookies the Bulls likely regret not drafting after Summer League success

Kenneth Lofton Jr., Chicago Bulls (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Kenneth Lofton Jr., Chicago Bulls (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /
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Considering the fact that rookie Dalen Terry looked better in each game and Marko Simonovic even played well enough to secure a spot on the All-Summer League Second Team, I highly doubt the Chicago Bulls are beating themselves up too much over how the 2022 NBA Summer League panned out.

The Bulls played so well, in fact, they’d go on to finish their slate of five games in third place on the standings with a 4-1 record. While the Bulls gave us much to celebrate during these offseason scrimmages, I can’t help but look around and see a few big missed opportunities.

Although Chicago entered the 2022 NBA Draft with only the 18th overall pick in their possession, several opportunities presented themselves to either trade for or straight-up just buy a draft pick with cash. Several of these players would go on to dominate in Las Vegas, leaving us pondering the question if the Bulls made a mistake not moving to draft these players.

Here’s a look at 3 rookies the Chicago Bulls missed out on from the 2022 NA Draft after their dominance in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Kenny Lofton Jr., 2022 NBA Summer League, Chicago Bulls
Kenny Lofton Jr., 2022 NBA Summer League, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /

3. Kenny Lofton Jr.

Although he was a two-time All-Conference USA Team selection in his two years at Louisiana Tech, Kenny Lofton Jr. never received much true draft consideration due to his 6’7, 275-pound frame. This is why no major university tendered him a scholarship offer and it’s also why he wouldn’t hear his name called in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Lofton clearly possesses genuine basketball acumen, but his unorthodox build had most scouts and general managers far too hesitant to take a gamble on him. Instead, he would be picked up by the Memphis Grizzlies after the draft on a two-way contract — just like how the Chicago Bulls acquired Marquette’s Justin Lewis.

Unlike Lewis, however, Lofton would immediately make his presence felt in Las Vegas. Averaging 15.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2 assists per game on 57.7% shooting from the field, Lofton was one of the most dependable contributors in Summer League play. In fact, that stat line is only marginally worse than the one Lofton’s teammate Santi Aldama posted, the same Aldama that was named to the All-Summer League Second Team alongside Simonovic.

Lofton made headlines when he dominated second overall pick, Chet Holmgren, in a head-to-head matchup during the Salt Lake City Summer League. Kenny scored 19 points and contributed 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal while locking Holmgren up to a poor 3-for-11 shooting performance.


It’s hard to say just how well his game will translate to the NBA level, but you really can’t ask for much more out of an undrafted prospect. On a two-way contract, Lofton is an exciting prospect who could certainly one day become a solid rotation player in the NBA. The same probably could not be said about current Bulls’ two-way players Lewis and Malcolm Hill.