Simisola Shittu

Magic Notes: Shittu, Harris, Bamba, Banchero

After three years of working for an NBA opportunity, Simisola Shittu may be getting his best chance with the Magic, writes Tony East of Forbes. A report earlier this month indicates that Shittu will be in training camp with Orlando, likely on an Exhibit 10 contract.

The 22-year-old was considered a top prospect when he enrolled at Vanderbilt, but he suffered a torn ACL that healed just in time for his lone collegiate season. He went undrafted in 2019 and spent two years in the G League before heading to Israel. He played for the Pacers in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League, earning himself a chance with the Magic.

“I’m resilient,” he said. “Certain cards don’t fall the right way or anything like that. But at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve just continued to grow from it and gotten better each year.”

There’s more from Orlando:

Magic To Sign Simisola Shittu

The Magic are set to sign free agent power forward Simisola Shittu, his agent Daniel Hazan informs Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Given that Orlando has 15 players on guaranteed deals for its full roster and both its two-way slots are occupied, the agreement seems likely to be an Exhibit 10 training camp contract. The Magic has also reportedly reached Exhibit 10 agreements with Drake Jeffries and Zavier Simpson.

Shittu, still just 22, went undrafted out of Vanderbilt in 2019, then joined the Bulls’ NBAGL affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, for the 2019/20 season. He linked up with the Knicks’ G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, during the team’s abbreviated ’20/21 season.

Shittu then set his sights internationally for the 2021/22 season, joining Israeli club Ironi Ness Ziona. During 15 contests for Ironi Ness Ziona, he sported averages of 7.1 PPG on 50.6% shooting, 4.9 RPG, 0.9 APG and 0.8 SPG across 17.5 MPG.

The 6’10” big man played with the Pacers during the 2022 Summer League in Las Vegas.

Knicks Eyeing Deal With Vildoza, No Longer Signing Shittu

The Knicks are expected to sign Argentinian guard Luca Vildoza to a contract before the end of the season, according to a report from HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Vildoza, who played for Baskonia in the EuroLeague this season, has reached an agreement with the Spanish club on a buyout from his contract, per HoopsHype. Chema de Lucas had said (via Twitter) that the Knicks were pushing to sign Vildoza, after Donatas Urbonas first reported earlier in the month that the 25-year-old was on New York’s radar.

Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link), who confirms that the Knicks are in talks with Vildoza, hears from sources that the club is also no longer completing its reported deal with Simisola Shittu. Shittu had been on track to sign a two-way contract with New York, but it seems that agreement has fallen apart.

It’s unclear if Vildoza would get that two-way deal instead or if he’d take Jared Harper‘s spot on the 15-man roster — Harper is currently on a 10-day contract that expires Sunday night, and it’s unclear if he’ll remain with the team for the rest of the season. A source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that the Knicks are eyeing a couple other players in addition to Vildoza, so they could theoretically complete multiple signings.

Vildoza, 25, has been playing basketball professionally since 2012, having started his career with Quilmes in Argentina. He joined Baskonia in 2017 and has spent the last four seasons in Spain, playing a key role in the club’s backcourt. In 31 EuroLeague games in 2020/21, he averaged 10.1 points and 3.4 assists in 25.2 minutes per contest, posting a shooting line of .410/.376/.761.

As HoopsHype notes (via Twitter), Vildoza was also part of the Argentinian national team that won a silver medal at the 2019 World Cup.

Knicks To Sign Simisola Shittu To Two-Way Contract

The Knicks are expected to sign G League forward Simisola Shittu to a two-way contract, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

Shittu will become the third member of the team’s G League affiliate in Westchester to occupy that two-way slot. Jared Harper was signed to a two-way deal in November, but had his contract converted to a 10-day deal on Friday. He was replaced by Myles Powell, who was waived earlier today. Begley points out that the Knicks like to provide financial rewards for their G League players, so it’s not clear if Shittu will remain on the roster long or if he’ll have a short stay like Powell.

Shittu, 21, went undrafted out of Vanderbilt in 2019 and played for Windy City in the G League last season before joining Westchester this year. He averaged 12.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in 53 total G League games.

The signing will give the Knicks a full roster, with Shittu and Theo Pinson occupying the two-way slots, Begley adds.

Bulls Release Zach Norvell, Simi Shittu

The Bulls have waived shooting guard Zach Norvell and power forward Simisola Shittu, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Norvell and Shittu were training camp invitees for the Bulls and saw limited action in the club’s four preseason contests. Norvell had 12 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in 40 total minutes, while Shittu put up 17 points and grabbed 10 boards in just 24 total minutes.

Neither player had a full or partial guarantee on his contract, so the Bulls won’t be on the hook for any dead money. Typically, both Norvell and Shittu would be candidates to play for the Windy City Bulls in the G League. However, Ridiculous Upside and Sportando have both reported that Chicago’s NBAGL affiliate isn’t expected to take part in the league’s proposed bubble.

The Bulls are now carrying 15 players on standard contracts (all guaranteed) and a pair on two-way deals, so their roster may be set for the regular season.

Bulls Add Center Simisola Shittu

The Bulls have announced that they have added big man Simisola Shittu, according to the team’s official Twitter account.

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago notes that, with the Shittu signing, the Bulls have now filled their 20-man roster for training camp (via Twitter link).

The 6’10” big man went undrafted in 2019 out of Vanderbilt. Inked to a training camp contract by the Bulls last season, Shittu went on to play 40 games for the Bulls’ G League affiliate (including 18 starts), the Windy City Bulls. He averaged 12.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, and 1.3 SPG for the club in 20.2 MPG.

Though joining the Bulls’ regular season roster looks like a long shot, signing his second training camp deal with Chicago could suggest that a second trip to the Windy City Bulls this season is on the table for the 21-year-old.

Hollinger’s Latest: Bertans, 2020 Draft, Celtics, G League

While Tommy Sheppard‘s claim that the Wizards intend to retain Davis Bertans through the trade deadline and beyond this season could be viewed as a leverage play, John Hollinger of The Athletic sounds inclined to believe the first-year general manager. As Hollinger writes in his round-up of chatter from the G League Showcase in Las Vegas, all signals indicate the Wizards are serious about keeping Bertans.

Hollinger points to the Wizards’ recent promotion of center Anzejs Pasecniks as one more sign that the Wizards are committed to Bertans. Pasecniks, who signed a two-way contract with Washington, is a Latvian like Bertans, and the two big men share an agent, per Hollinger.

Hollinger passed along several more tidbits from Las Vegas, so let’s round up some of the most notable items from the former Grizzlies executive…

  • Teams around the NBA aren’t particularly high on the 2020 NBA draft class, leading Hollinger to surmise that contenders won’t be averse to including 2020 first-round picks in trades this winter.
  • While center is widely viewed as the Celtics‘ biggest need, most logical trade targets at that position earn $20MM+ and would be difficult for Boston to acquire. As such, one source who spoke to Hollinger thinks the C’s might actually pursue another perimeter player, perhaps a wing or forward. The thinking is that the Celtics often play four of their top five perimeter players – Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward – together and could benefit from adding another reliable contributor to that group.
  • Rayjon Tucker, a guard for the Wisconsin Herd, looks like a prime candidate for an NBA call-up, according to Hollinger, who notes that Tucker was getting buzz even before his 34-point game at the G League Showcase. Hollinger’s other top candidates for potential call-ups include DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (Oklahoma City Blue), Jeremiah Martin (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Dedric Lawson (Austin Spurs), and Simisola Shittu (Windy City Bulls).

Bulls Waive Doyle, Simon, Shittu

The Bulls have waived guards Milton Doyle and Justin Simon and forward Simisola Shittu, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

These moves reduce their opening night roster to the maximum 15 players. All three players were on non-guaranteed contracts and were deemed most likely to be waived.

Chicago has no plans to add a player off the waiver wire, according to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, which is good news for Shaquille Harrison, whose $1.62MM contract was only guaranteed for $175K. He’ll receive a full guarantee if he remains on the roster through January 10th. All of the other 14 players on the regular roster have fully guaranteed deals.

The Bulls will add another two-way player in the coming days and that player will likely be someone from outside the organization, according to Johnson (Twitter links). Adam Mokoka has the other two-way contract.

Doyle played with the Nets on a two-way contract two seasons ago and spent last season with the Spanish team Murcia. Simon and Shittu are undrafted rookies who will likely join the team’s G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls.

Bulls Sign Simisola Shittu To Camp Deal

OCTOBER 4: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

SEPTEMBER 25: The Bulls have reached an agreement with undrafted free agent forward Simisola Shittu, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter), who reports that Shittu is signing a training camp deal with the club.

A McDonald’s All-American and one of the highest-rated prospects in the 2018 recruiting class, Shittu spent his lone college season at Vanderbilt in 2018/19 before declaring for the draft as an early entrant. The 6’10” Canadian had an up-and-down freshman season, averaging 10.9 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 32 games (26.7 MPG) for the Commodores.

Shittu joined the Grizzlies for Las Vegas Summer League play, but only saw six minutes of action in a single game for Memphis. Now it appears he’ll get a chance to attend training camp with Chicago, though he’s more likely to ultimately end up in the G League playing for the Windy City Bulls.

Once they officially sign Shittu and completed their reported agreement with Milton Doyle, the Bulls will have a full 20-man roster.

Draft Notes: Wolves, Kings, Pistons

We’re continuing to pass along workout schedules for NBA teams in advance of the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20. See below for some additional workout notes from Minneapolis, Sacramento, and Detroit.