According to MassLive, the Chicago Bulls and R.J. Hunter have come to terms on an agreement that will become official once he passes his physical. The Bulls’ signing of Hunter comes just a couple of days after he was cut by the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics made R.J. Hunter their final cut on Monday when the NBA rosters were supposed to be trimmed down to 15 players. ESPN initially reported that the Boston Celtics waived the 6-foot-5 shooting guard. This came after the Celtics failed to find a trade partner, in an effort to get something back for him.
Hunter was a player whom Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens hated to see leave.
“The one part of the business that, no matter what, every time sucks, is when you have to make roster decisions. Because it’s real people and certainly I’ve known R.J. for a long time. I think he’s really improved, I think he’s gotten better. I had a pretty decent long talk with him this morning and I told him this is part of the path to a great career, right? And I truly believe he’ll have a great career.”
For R.J. Hunter, the potentially great career will have to take place elsewhere. He officially played one season with the Boston Celtics before they cut him. Hunter was taken in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft by the Celtics with the No. 28 pick.
Report: RJ Hunter reached a deal with the Chicago Bulls https://t.co/HWaPq7QIP4
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) October 26, 2016
The Inquisitr previously reported that the Boston Celtics looking to find a trade for R.J. Hunter. Among the teams with possible interest were the Chicago Bulls.
Once the NBA’s mandate for teams to trim their rosters came into effect on Monday, and players started to get cut left and right one thing stood out. Every NBA team had all of their roster spots filled out except for the Bulls. The Bulls typically leave a roster spot or two open during the regular season for roster flexibility. They stayed true to form.
It was originally thought that the Bulls would keep 15 players also. Then came the report from The Athletic that the Bulls were cutting point guard Spencer Dinwiddie. That probably should have raised a few eyebrows. Dinwiddie played well for the Bulls during the preseason.
There was no reason for the Bulls to waive him unless there was another move on the horizon. That move quickly turns into R.J. Hunter, a player who fills one of the Bulls greatest needs.
The Bulls solidified their need for a backup point guard less than two weeks ago when they traded for Michael Carter-Williams. Despite his ability to be a good floor leader, Carter-Williams is not a good jump shooter from behind the three-point line. He still improves the Bulls going forward.
A classy farewell from RJ Hunter after he was waived by the Boston Celtics on his 23rd birthday. pic.twitter.com/JNnutRyt5z
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) October 24, 2016
As for R.J. Hunter, expect him to fill the void of spot-up shooter during a few minutes here and there. Hunter will not have much of an impact with the Chicago Bulls right away.
Hunter must first get acclimated with his Bulls’ teammates. After that, there will be a struggle for him to get minutes early on. It will be much like it was for him with the Celtics.
Because the Bulls’ backcourt is loaded with players, it will take a couple of months before R.J. Hunter gets consistent playing time. Much of that will be predicated by how he performs in his limited time on the floor. The opportunity for Hunter to receive playing with the Bulls will be there as long as he is patient.
For the Chicago Bulls, the signing of R.J. Hunter is a move with the future in mind. While it is only a one-year contract the Bulls handed Hunter, he gets a full year to prove that he can become a long-term fixture as a rotational player. Hunter is only 23-years-old, therefore he fits what the Bulls set as a criteria — a young player with a high ceiling. This signing by the Chicago Bulls has auditioning for the future written all over it. And if R.J. Hunter pans out, the Bulls’ plans of building towards tomorrow, while winning today will play out well.
[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]