Bulls Sign Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine’s Former College Teammate

Getty Bryce Alford

Bryce Alford has some deep connections on the Chicago Bulls roster, and that might explain why the team signed the 26-year-old to a non-guaranteed training camp deal on Wednesday, per Keith Smith of Spotrac:

How deep are Alford’s connections with the Bulls’ organization? While he has never played a regular season game in the NBA, Alford did spend three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder G-League squad from 2017-19 where he had some contact with Bulls head coach Billy Donovan while he was there.

Alford, is also the son of former Indiana University star and current Nevada Wolfpack head coach Steve Alford. In addition to his G-League experience, Alford also spent time playing overseas in Germany and Portugal. In college, Alford was a part of the same freshman class as Zach LaVine. As a senior, he started in the backcourt with Lonzo Ball when the latter was a freshman.

As I said, the connections run deep in Chicago for Alford. At UCLA, Alford made just under 40% of his threes, 82.5% of his free throws and averaged 13.6 points per game during a solid collegiate career. He is a heady player with a hoops IQ befitting a coach’s son, but is this his last chance to chase an NBA dream?

What Are Bryce Alford’s Chances of Making the Bulls’ Roster?

If we’re being honest, Alford probably wasn’t signed to compete for one of the Bulls’ roster spots. The team already has a ton of guards with Ball, LaVine, Coby White once he’s healthy, Alex Caruso and rookie Ayo Dosunmu. That’s not to mention Devon Dotson, who seems destined for the G-League, which seems like the most likely landing spot for Alford.

Other members of Chicago sports media also seem to believe Alford may have some value with the Windy City Bulls.

Elias Schuster of Bleacher Nation wrote:

The chance of Alford squeaking out a spot feels extremely thin, especially when we consider another 3-point specialist in Matt Thomas has already been in town. But I don’t mind the continued emphasis to evaluate talent while the opportunity presents itself by the team’s front office. After all, while Alford may not end up earning an NBA spot right now, he could put himself in a position to be back in the G-League on the Windy City Bulls this winter.

The Bulls Should Be Looking For Frontcourt Depth

While adding shooting makes sense for the Bulls, the team really needs to address its lack of frontcourt depth. We know that backup center Tony Bradley hasn’t been able to play in the preseason because of injury, and the same can be said for starting power forward Patrick Williams.

However, it would appear the Bulls could still use a legit, defensive-minded backup power forward to add some needed length to the roster. As of now, the teams figures to have to use players like Alize Johnson at power forward, or even going smaller with Derrick Jones Jr. and Javonte Green.

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