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Chicago Bulls 2018-19 season preview: Antonio Blakeney

The Chicago Bulls bench unit is starting to come together. What should Bulls fans expect from Antonio Blakeney during the 2018-19 NBA season?

This summer, the Chicago Bulls signed guard Antonio Blakeney to a 2-year, minimum salary deal. Blakeney has had an unconventional route to the NBA, but his incredible scoring ability will finally be put to good use.

Last year, Blakeney was playing for Chicago under a two-way contract, meaning that he bounced back and forth between the Chicago Bulls and their G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls (clever name, right?).

Due to his stellar play as a member of the Windy City Bulls, Antonio Blakeney was named the G League Rookie of the Year. That award doesn’t necessarily mean much, but the numbers behind it sure do. For the Windy City Bulls, Blakeney averaged an absurd 32.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Keep in mind that this was a young man who got passed on 60 times during the 2017 draft.

Obviously, during his time in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls, his numbers weren’t as prolific as they were in the G League. The 21-year-old shooting guard appeared in 19 NBA games during the 2017-18 season and averaged 7.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Those numbers are still solid though, especially considering he only averaged 16.5 minutes per game while in the NBA.

During this year’s Las Vegas Summer League, Antonio Blakeney not only held his own while playing with guys like Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison, but he dominated. Blakeney led the Bulls’ Summer League team in scoring, averaging an impressive 21.0 points per game.

Now, Blakeney is officially signed to an NBA deal, meaning he can start cementing himself as a valuable member of the Bulls’ rotation.

It’s unclear at this point how the Bulls bench minutes will be divvied up, but Blakeney’s growth will likely play a large role in determining how many minutes guys like Denzel Valentine, Ryan Arcidiacono and Justin Holiday get.

Next: Chicago Bulls: 3 players who need big seasons

Projected 2018-19 stat line: 10.5 PPG / 2.5 RPG / 1.0 APG / 41.0% FG / 36.0% 3FG



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