Athletic Bulls Forward is the Fringe Player With Best Chance to Stick

Getty Alize Johnson

Monday was a big day for the Chicago Bulls and their fans. It was media day and that means the first opportunity to see the newest Bulls in their new uniforms. While DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso are the most high-profile new Bulls, other new acquisitions might wind up being a major factor as well.

The Bulls bench figures to be a major focus throughout the season. Five new Bulls were mentioned to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson by a reader.

The reader asked Johnson which one he thought would stick. Johnson called touched on the qualities of Stanley Johnson, Alize Johnson, Matt Thomas, Tyler Cook and Ethan Thompson, but he talked up Alize as the one with the best chance to “stick.”

Johnson wrote: “Alize Johnson has perhaps the best chance to stick. Though raw, his energy and rebounding ability could shore up an area of need. It doesn’t hurt when you have Kevin Durant raving about you on your resume.”

About midway through the 2021-22 season, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Bulls’ signing of Alize Johnson is seen as one of the most underrated acquisitions of the offseason.

Alize Johnson Has a Chance to Make a Major Impact

With scoring punch coming from Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls are going to score. The team will need a player whose purpose is to handle the dirty work. Johnson is the kind of player who will embrace that role as evidenced by his Dennis-Rodman-themed tweet to his announce his arrival in the Windy City.

Because of that element of his game, and even more due to his willingness to shine in that capacity, Johnson could quickly become a fan favorite and an important element to Chicago’s success.

Johnson hasn’t played a huge role on a championship-level squad, but he’s the kind of player every contending team needs on their roster.

Alize Johnson Could Start in Place of Patrick Williams

Hear me out.

While I’m not implying Patrick Williams should be demoted, the second-year player is healing from a severely sprained ankle. He’s expected to miss a piece of training camp and quite possibly a piece of the preseason. The Bulls are already notably short at power forward, they will need to find players to slide into that spot.

While Williams is out, you’d have to consider Johnson a strong possibility to start at the 4 in his absence. If the team functions well with him in that spot, it probably won’t be enough initially to push Williams to a Sixth-Man role. However, should Williams experience some issues upon his return, a second unit of Coby White, Alex Caruso, Troy Brown Jr., Patrick Williams and Tony Bradley doesn’t sound too bad.

As a reserve unit, the Bulls would have an aggressive, offensive-minded guard in White, an elite perimeter defender, secondary ballhandler and strong finisher in Caruso in the backcourt. At the forward spots, TBJ is a budding 3-and-D player while Williams is an athletic, do-it-all-decently glue player. Bradley is rim-protecting, rim-running reserve big man.

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