Bulls: Grading the two-way signing of Kostas Antetokounmpo

Kostas Antetokounmpo, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Juan Carlos García Mate/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Kostas Antetokounmpo, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Juan Carlos García Mate/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

In a move that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser for many, the Chicago Bulls have committed to Kostas Antetokounmpo by offering him the final open two-way roster spot. He now rounds out the Bulls roster to 17 players before the regular season begins on October 18.

We didn’t get to see too much of Kostas in preseason play, as he only saw the court for 11 total minutes across Chicago’s four preseason games. Still, this vote of confidence must mean that management has seen at least a little promise in Kostas’ performance behind the scenes in training camp.

His main competition for the role were returning Bulls forward Malcolm Hill and Summer League standout Carlik Jones. After Kostas logged the least minutes of all three of these players in the preseason, his future with the team was beginning to look more and more likely to meet an abrupt end.

It could be argued that both Jones and Hill have a more developed and well-rounded game than Kostas right now, but the potential Antetokounmpo possesses on paper was likely too difficult to pass up. Now, both players will be free to pursue a contract with other teams around the league.

Of course, Kostas’ relation to NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo may have had a factor in the decision-making process, but I don’t believe that’s such a bad thing. In all likelihood, Giannis’ comments about how he’d love to play for Chicago were nothing more than conjecture to get his brother the job… but what if they weren’t? Isn’t this the smallest most reasonably priced gamble you could take for a Giannis-sized reward?

The Chicago Bulls are making the right call by prioritizing potential and signing Kostas Antetokounmpo to a two-way contract.

Even if Chicago is bombarded with injuries like last season, I believe the Chicago Bulls now have enough depth in the backcourt between Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu, Alex Caruso, Coby White, and Goran Dragic as well as on the wing with Patrick Williams, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., and the rookie Dalen Terry to make do.

In any case, even if Jones and Hill are better players than Antetokounmpo right now, the Bulls would have to be in a pretty bad spot for any of the three to see significant minutes in this upcoming season regardless. This is why I believe banking on future potential was the best possible way to utilize two-way contracts.

Now, we’ll get to see a clearer picture of Kostas’ capabilities as he logs minutes with the Windy City Bulls in the G League. The front office has clearly seen something in him during his time at training camp, so more time on the court can hopefully help enlighten us fans as to what they see in Kostas as well.

Besides, even if Kostas doesn’t pan out as a prospect, isn’t it much more fun dreaming up scenarios where Giannis one day becomes a Bull than it is watching Malcolm Hill highlight videos?

Grade: A

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