Walter Lemon Jr. is making a strong early impression on the Bulls after signing a 10-day contract Friday, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Injuries to seven rotation players gave Lemon a chance to play 31 minutes last night and he responded with 19 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals.
“If you would have told me a couple of days ago that I was going to play 30 minutes against the Raptors — the No. 2 team in the East — on the Bulls’ floor, let alone play 30 minutes in an NBA game, period, I wouldn’t believe you,” said Lemon, a Chicago native. “This is definitely a surreal moment for me. And I’m going to never forget it. I’m going to cherish this moment for the rest of my life.”
Lemon is making a push for a longer contract after signing with the Bulls for the rest of the season. The 26-year-old has been waiting for an opportunity since leaving Bradley in 2014, playing extensively in the G League and overseas.
There’s more from the Central Division:
- Jim Boylen is thrilled to see his predecessor back in the coaching ranks, relays Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. Fred Hoiberg was officially hired Saturday as the new coach at Nebraska, a little more than four months after his firing in Chicago. “I know he loves coaching college basketball. We’ve had many of those conversations,” Boylen said. “He did a terrific job at Iowa State. It looks like Nebraska is right in his wheelhouse and I’m sure he’ll take that program to the next level. Happy for him and his family.” The hiring is also good news for the Bulls, who can offset Hoiberg’s $3.57MM salary from the $5MM they owe him for next season.
- Injured Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon is getting around without the aid of crutches or a walking boot, tweets Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It’s an encouraging sign of progress for Brogdon, who has a minor plantar fascia tear in his right foot and is expected to miss at least the first round of the playoffs.
- The Cavaliers are hoping to trade away some salary so they can try their luck in the free agent market this summer, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.