3 Rising Stars standouts the Bulls should sign this summer

2024 NBA All-Star - Panini Rising Stars
2024 NBA All-Star - Panini Rising Stars / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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With no All-Stars to their name for the first time since 2020, the Chicago Bulls will be watching all the fun unfold in Indiana from the comfort of their couches. But just because the Bulls don't have any players lined up to participate in this year's All-Star festivities doesn't mean that these weekend events aren't worth watching.

The Rising Stars Challenge is always a fun way to kick things off, and last night's games certainly did not disappoint. Bennedict Mathurin dropped 18 of his team's 40 points to uplift Team Jalen over Team Tamika in the first round, compensating for the fact he hilariously missed a pair of game-winning free throws after betting Paolo Banchero $25,000 that he would hit both shots.

Meanwhile, Team Pau's star trio of Victor Wembanyama, Brandon Miller, and Jabari Smith Jr. crumbled to the might of Team Detlef's squad of G Leaguers, 41-36, an upset that nobody saw coming. Team Jalen avoided making the same mistake in the end, taking care of business 26-13 against Team Detlef as Mathurin would be crowned this year's Rising Stars MVP.

Although most of the players who participated in the Rising Stars challenge already hold firm roles within their respective teams, the addition of a G League team gives scouts and fans alike plenty of reason to tune into these games — even if their own players won't be suiting up. With that in mind, here's a look at three players I wouldn't mind seeing suit up for the Bulls after solid showings in the Rising Stars game.

If the Bulls cannot develop their own Rising Stars, they'd be wise to poach a few off of other teams this summer.

1. Alondes Williams

Currently on a two-way contract with the Miami Heat, Alondes Williams showed out in the win over Team Pau, racking up 11 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals in just 14 minutes of playtime. Cutting to the basket, dunking in transition, and even finishing a tough and-one over Wembanyama, Williams was doing it all out there on the court and won over plenty of fans in the process.

Currently averaging 21.8 points, 6.4 assists, and 40% from beyond the arc for the G League's Sioux Fall Skyforce, Williams is proving he can perform at a high level after going undrafted in 2022. Given Miami's notorious reputation for finding and developing elite role players, it might be wise for Chicago to swoop in here before the Heat strike gold yet again.

2. Oscar Tshiebwe

After going undrafted in the 2023 Draft, 24-year-old rookie Oscar Tshiebwe hasn't gotten the chance to prove himself at the NBA level quite yet. That didn't stop him from playing like an experienced vet at the Rising Stars Challenge, however, as Tshiebwe contributed 8 of his team's 13 points during a loss to Team Jalen in the finals. He may have not come home with a tournament championship, but he did enough to impress many teams, especially ones who could use a strong and sizeable reserve forward like the Bulls.

3. Matas Buzelis

Representing the G League Ignite, Buzelis tallied 7 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds in Team Detlef's first game. It's difficult to stuff the box score in a game that concludes at the 40-point mark, but Buzelis seemed to be more than ready for the NBA scene. He certainly didn't shy away from the bright lights when he hit a turnaround jumper to seal the upset victory over Team Pau.

Technically speaking, the Bulls cannot sign Matas Buzelis in free agency next year. That's because they'll need to scoop him up in the 2024 NBA Draft if they want any hope of acquiring the potential Lithuanian phenom. Currently projected to be selected 6th overall in The Ringer's 2024 NBA Mock Draft, the Bulls will have to either get very lucky in the draft lottery or accept their fate and begin rebuilding now if they want any hope of adding an elite prospect like Buzelis through the draft.

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