Devon Dotson

Bulls Waive Devon Dotson, Will Sign Malcolm Hill To Two-Way Deal

The Bulls have released guard Devon Dotson, the team announced today (via Twitter). Dotson had been on a two-way contract with the club.

An undrafted free agent out of Kansas, Dotson spent his rookie season in 2020/21 on a two-way deal with the Bulls, then signed a new contract for the ’21/22 campaign. Across two seasons in Chicago, the 22-year-old averaged 2.4 PPG and 1.0 APG in 22 NBA games (6.1 MPG). He played a larger role in the G League, especially this season, when he averaged 20.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 6.3 APG, and 2.2 SPG in 10 contests (36.9 MPG) for the Windy City Bulls.

Dotson will clear waivers on Wednesday, assuming he goes unclaimed, and will be free to sign with any team at that time.

Meanwhile, the Bulls will fill their newly-opened roster slot by signing forward Malcolm Hill to a two-way contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

As we detailed over the weekend, Hill – who is currently on a 10-day hardship contract – played 18 minutes in Saturday’s loss to Boston and was on the court in the closing minutes as the game was being decided. That’s the only game he has played so far for the Bulls, but he apparently impressed head coach Billy Donovan and the front office enough to earn a rest-of-season commitment.

Hill’s 10-day contract runs through Sunday night, but the Bulls have no players left in the health and safety protocols, so they wouldn’t be able to activate him as long as he remains on that hardship deal. Immediately converting him to a two-way contract would ensure he remains available this week.

Zach LaVine, Four Other Bulls Exit COVID-19 Protocols

All the Bulls players who were in the health and safety protocols have now rejoined the team, head coach Billy Donovan said today (Twitter link via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago). That group consists of Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu, Alize Johnson, Matt Thomas, and Devon Dotson.

LaVine, Dosunmu, Johnson, and Thomas were all placed in the COVID-19 protocols at least 10 days ago. Dotson just entered the protocols on Tuesday, but has since tested out of them, according to Donovan (Twitter link via Johnson). That suggests that perhaps Dotson registered a false positive test earlier in the week.

It’s great news for the Bulls, who were one of the first teams to be affected by a coronavirus outbreak this month and who have had three games postponed. They’ll resume play on Sunday when they host Indiana.

The Bulls currently have three replacement players on 10-day hardship contracts. Alfonzo McKinnie signed his second 10-day deal on Monday and Ersan Ilyasova and Mac McClung inked their respective 10-day pacts on Wednesday.

While those contracts remain active for now, once all the Bulls players coming out of the protocols have been medically cleared to return to action, the team won’t be able to continue carrying those hardship signees, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). That means Ilyasova and McClung likely won’t get to play out their full 10-day contracts, and if Chicago wants to keep McKinnie around, the team would have to create room by trading or waiving someone from the 15-man roster.

Caldwell-Pope, Gallinari, Capela, Others Enter Protocols

Wizards wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Washington had been one of 10 teams that didn’t currently have any players in the protocols, but that’s no longer the case.

According to Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr., Caldwell-Pope returned a positive COVID-19 test on Monday evening (Twitter link via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington). He’ll be sidelined for 10 days or until he can return consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates from around the league:

  • Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari and center Clint Capela been placed in the health and safety protocols, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links). An earlier report stated that two Atlanta players were entering the protocols today — now we know that Gallinari and Capela are those two players.
  • Lakers center Dwight Howard and guard Talen Horton-Tucker have exited the health and safety protocols, the team announced today (Twitter link via Dave McMenamin of ESPN). That doesn’t necessarily mean that both players have been cleared to return to action, but they’re able to rejoin the team for practices and should be available soon.
  • Bulls two-way guard Devon Dotson is now in the health and safety protocols, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (Twitter link). Chicago has had some players return since the team’s initial COVID-19 outbreak, but still has five other players in the protocols in addition to Dotson.
  • Kings two-way center Neemias Queta is the latest Sacramento player to enter the COVID-19 protocols, tweets Wojnarowski. The club now has seven players in the protocols.
  • The NBA has told the 10 teams scheduled to play on December 25 that some of their games could be shifted to new times if any Christmas Day contests have to be postponed, tweets Wojnarowski. As Woj explains, the league is prioritizing the 2:30pm ET, 5:00pm, and 8:00pm windows, so if one of those games is postponed, either the early or late game would likely be moved.

Bulls’ Devon Dotson Signs Qualifying Offer

Free agent guard Devon Dotson has signed his qualifying offer from the Bulls, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Dotson will be on a two-way contract and the qualifying offer includes a $50K guarantee. Chicago still has its other two-way slot available.

Dotson, 22, was also on a two-way deal last season when he appeared in 11 games with the Bulls as a rookie, averaging 2.1 PPG in 4.5 MPG. Dotson averaged 13 PPG and 5.6 APG in 10 G League games with the Canton Charge.

He’s currently averaging 6.7 PPG and 3.0 APG in 22.2 MPG through three summer league games in Las Vegas.

Nico Mannion, Saben Lee, Others Receive Qualifying Offers

The Warriors have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Nico Mannion, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. Because Mannion, the 48th overall pick in the 2020 draft, was on a two-way contract during his rookie season, his qualifying offer will be the equivalent of another two-way deal, with a partial guarantee worth $50K. The QO will give Golden State matching rights in the event that another team signs Mannion to an offer sheet next week.

Here are more updates on players on two-way contracts receiving qualifying offers:

  • Saben Lee, a 2020 second-round pick who spent his rookie season on a two-way deal, has received a qualifying offer from the Pistons, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. As expected, Detroit also officially renounced the draft rights to Jaylen Hands, Smith notes.
  • The Bulls issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Devon Dotson, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Chicago also gave a QO to Lauri Markkanen on Friday.
  • Nuggets guard Markus Howard, another two-way player, received a qualifying offer that makes him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Howard appeared in 37 games for Denver last season as an undrafted rookie out of Marquette.
  • The Spurs extended a qualifying offer to forward Keita Bates-Diop to make him an RFA, tweets Smith. Like the other players listed above, Bates-Diop has fewer than four years of NBA experience and is therefore eligible to sign another two-way contract after spending the 2020/21 season on a two-way deal.
  • The Cavaliers gave a qualifying offer to two-way shooting guard Brodric Thomas, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Thomas appeared in a total of 32 games for Houston and Cleveland as a rookie in 2020/21.
  • The Grizzlies announced they’ve issued a qualifying offer to big man Killian Tillie, making him a restricted free agent. Tillie appeared in 18 games for Memphis as a rookie on his two-way deal.

Since all of these players are coming off two-way contracts and have only spent one season with their respective teams, their QOs are one-year, two-way offers with $50K guarantees.

Central Notes: Hayes, Bulls, Dotson, Thanasis

Pistons lottery pick Killian Hayes remains out indefinitely due to a hip injury but coach Dwane Casey said the rookie point guard is progressing, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “It’s been solid; it’s really going well,” Casey said. “He’s in the situation where he’s moving and shooting right now. Hopefully, (he returns) sometime in the next month — don’t hold me to it; I’m going by what the medical people are talking about.” Hayes suffered the labral tear seven games into the season.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls executive VP Arturas Karnisovas anticipates a tight market heading toward the March 25 trade deadline, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times tweets. He said there are very few sellers at the moment because most feel clubs like they’re still in the running for the postseason, including a couple of “delusional” teams.
  • The Bulls recalled guard Devon Dotson from the G League’s Canton Charge, the team tweets. Dotson was averaging 13 PPG and 5.6 APG in 10 games at Orlando’s “bubble” season. He’s on a two-way contract with Chicago.
  • Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Lori Nickel details how Thanasis Antetokounmpo provides the Bucks with an energetic wing option for coach Mike Budenholzer. The league MVP’s older brother is averaging 2.3 PPG and 2.2 RPG in 9.0 MPG in 24 appearances this season.

Bulls Notes: Carter Jr., LaVine, Williams, Dotson

Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. is in line for an earlier-than-expected return from a quadriceps injury, practicing with the team fully on Sunday, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports writes.

Carter, 21, sustained the injury nearly one month ago and has been out for the club’s last 11 games. He also missed time with injuries during his previous two campaigns, averaging 11.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 29.2 minutes per game during the 2019/20 season.

“Eventually, we’re going to have to throw him in there with the number of games coming and the limited amount of practice time,” coach Billy Donovan acknowledged. “(Sunday) was a good day for the fact we were able to practice and go up and down and do some 5-on-5 and he was able to participate in all of those things. And he looked fine doing it. I don’t think there was any problems at least while that was going on. We’ll see how he responds to the workload.”

Chicago will open a three-game road trip on Monday against Pacers, followed by games against the Hornets on Wednesday and Sixers on Friday.

Here are some other notes from the Windy City:

  • Zach LaVine‘s teammates believed he’s being overlooked as a potential All-Star this season, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Though his defensive production needs work and the Bulls are 10-15, LaVine has averaged a career-high 28.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game this season. ‘‘I think he understands at this point in his career that individual accolades come when the team does really well,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘I think if it happens, it would be great for him to be recognized as an All-Star; it’s an incredible honor. But I don’t think it’s the driving force for him.’’
  • Playing on Friday against Kawhi Leonard, his favorite player, was a learning experience for forward Patrick Williams, Cowley writes in a different story. Leonard finished with a game-high 33 points, also tallying six rebounds and zero turnovers in nearly 33 minutes in the Clippers’ 125-106 win. ‘‘Me, I think I could have done better — energy, defensively, just making it tough on him,’’ Williams said. ‘‘I think he was a little bit too comfortable out there. That’s on me. So . . . just gotta watch the film and get better from it offensively and defensively. And also, as a team, there are some things, some areas there where we kind of dropped the ball.’’
  • Two-way player Devon Dotson had an impressive start to the G League Bubble last week, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports writes. Dotson finished with 16 points in the first contest, along with 12 points and 10 assists in the second, making a respectable impact in both games.

Bulls Notes: Carter, Young, White, Dotson

Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. was disappointed but not surprised when he learned about the severity of his latest injury, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports. Carter will be sidelined for at least four weeks after suffering a quad contusion in a collision with Denzel Valentine during practice. Doctors said Valentine struck him in a “perfect” spot to cause damage.

“I was on the ground, I thought I did something more than what was told to me,” Carter said. “After the initial pain that I had, I knew it was going to be longer. I knew it was just a contusion, but I knew it was a lot more severe than I was used to. It (the diagnosis) didn’t catch me by surprise at all.”

This marks the third straight season that Carter will be out of action for at least a month, Schaefer notes. He missed 35 games with a damaged thumb ligament as a rookie, then 22 games last year because of a sprained ankle. Carter said during training camp that staying healthy was one of his goals for the season.

“I hate the label of being injury prone or always injured and things like that,” he said. “But at the same time as I look inside the business, the people who are a part of this business, they understand that all these injuries weren’t because I wasn’t prepared or weren’t because I wasn’t doing the necessary things to make sure my body could withstand the 72-game season.”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Thaddeus Young’s early-season performance should make him a popular name on the trade market, suggests K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Young was already considered a trade prospect because only $6MM of his $14.2MM contract for next season is guaranteed, and he has boosted his value by averaging 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds though the first 13 games, with a near triple-double Monday night.
  • Although point guard Coby White has been inconsistent lately, the Bulls aren’t ready to make a change, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. That includes moving Tomas Satoransky into the starting lineup or trading for Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, Cowley adds. “You have to look at the give and take of doing something like that may be,” coach Billy Donovan replied when asked about the possibly of using White as a reserve. “Does it disrupt that group? Is it not good for Coby?’’
  • Rookie two-way guard Devon Dotson has been transferred to the Canton Charge and will join the team in the G League bubble, the Bulls tweeted. He has gotten into just one game this season.

Central Notes: Bulls, Holiday, Nance, Dellavedova, Exum

The Bulls will be without six players when they travel to Oklahoma City this week for a pair of preseason games, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. In addition to Garrett Temple (coronavirus), Denzel Valentine (hamstring strain), and Thaddeus Young (lower leg infection), the club will also be missing Devon Dotson, Adam Mokoka, and Tomas Satoransky, who are simply listed as “not with team.”

As K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago noted on Sunday when those three players – and Noah Vonleh – were given excused absences for the Bulls’ previous exhibition contest, those vague designations will likely become common over the course of the 2020/21 season as teams navigate the NBA’s coronavirus protocols.

While Vonleh eventually confirmed he had tested positive for COVID-19, that doesn’t mean the same is true of Dotson, Mokoka, and Satoransky. It’s possible they’re being kept away from the Bulls temporarily for contact tracing purposes, or even for a reason unrelated to the coronavirus. With teams not formally announcing which of their players have tested positive for the virus, we may be left to speculate in situations like this throughout the coming season.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Now that the Bucks have secured a commitment from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Pelton of ESPN (Insider link) wonders if an extension for Jrue Holiday might be next up on the team’s to-do list. Since he was recently traded, Holiday can only get a 5% raise and one extra year (beyond his 2021/22 player option) for now, but those restrictions will lift on February 26, allowing for more money and more years.
  • Cavaliers veterans Larry Nance Jr. and Matthew Dellavedova are entering the NBA’s concussion protocol and neither player will travel to New York for the club’s final two preseason games, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
  • Dante Exum, who had 23 points and five assists and was a plus-33 in Monday’s win over Indiana, has solidified his spot as the Cavaliers‘ backup point guard entering the season, Fedor writes in a separate story for Cleveland.com. Exum, the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, is entering a contract year.

Bulls Sign Patrick Williams To Rookie Deal, Devon Dotson To Two-Way

Bulls rookies Patrick Williams and Devon Dotson have inked their new deals with the club, per the NBA’s official transactions log.

Unless the No. 4 pick out of FSU accepts a deal worth less than the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale, Williams will earn $7,068,360 in his rookie year and about $32.1MM over the first four years of his NBA career. A full list of anticipated rookie scale salary figures is viewable here.

The 6’8″ Williams is viewed as an athletic, defensive-oriented forward with room to grow on offense as a long-distance shooting threat. His physical attributes (he has a 7′ wingspan) and tantalizing upside saw him vault into the lottery conversation relatively late this season.

Williams will compete with incumbent starter Lauri Markkanen for minutes at power forward, the No. 4 pick’s most natural positional fit. Ahead of the draft, Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer hailed the ascendant Williams as potentially being one of the biggest steals this year.

As was previously reported, Dotson signed a two-way deal with Chicago. The 6’2″ point guard, who went undrafted this year, will join the team in training camp and compete for a roster slot, though as a two-way player he may log significant time for Chicago’s G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls in Hoffman Estates.

For Kansas last season, Dotson averaged 18.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 4.0 APG with 2.1 SPG. Dotson was John Hollinger of The Athletic‘s highest-rated undrafted player, and was actually listed at No. 15 overall in Hollinger’s pre-draft rankings. Williams, meanwhile, was No. 14.

Dotson’s biggest assets are his scoring and his speed. At the NBA Draft combine earlier in November, he recorded the second-fastest three-quarter-court sprint of the past ten years at 3.02 seconds, per CJ Moore of The Athletic. 2019 lottery pick Coby White and veteran Tomas Satoransky currently project to play the lion’s share of minutes at the point for the Bulls.