Bulls waive Shittu, Norvell in pre-opener formality originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
In a roster formality, the Bulls waived Zach Norvell Jr. and Simi Shittu Saturday morning, the day after the team's preseason finale.
That brings the Bulls back down to 15 guaranteed contracts and two two-way players -- Devon Dotson and Adam Mokoka -- in advance of the regular season opener on Dec. 23 against the Atlanta Hawks. While NBA teams are allowed to carry up to 20 contracts during camp and the preseason, they are required to shave down to 15 (plus two two-ways) before the start of regular season play.
Shittu won hearts for his valiant effort in the fourth quarter of the Bulls' Friday evening victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, notching 13 points and six rebounds in the frame to lead a 19-point comeback. Norvell, a Simeon grad, struggled shooting the ball, finishing preseason play just 2-for-14 from 3-point range.
"Simi’s really good, man. He can create. He hasn’t been able to show a lot of it. He was one of the top players in the country in high school. He got injured. He’s been a worker," Zach LaVine said. "He goes out there, plays his role and he comes ready to play in practice every day. Regardless of here or somewhere else, he’s going to get opportunities. He’s a pro."
But the reality is both entered training camp as outside shots to crack the regular-season roster. By the time of their signing, the Bulls already had 15 guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season. Noah Vonleh, another non-guaranteed camp flier, met the same fate after testing positive for COVID-19 following the Bulls' first preseason contest.
Shittu spent the 2019-20 season with the Windy City Bulls, averaging 12.3 points and 6.4 rebounds across 40 games. The Bulls' participation in the 2020-21 G League season, which reportedly may be held in a bubble, remains up in the air.
Billy Donovan said before the preseason finale he wasn't yet sure which way the Bulls were leaning on that front.
"We've talked a little bit briefly about that before we left to go on the (two-game road) trip," Donovan said. "I think Artūras (Karnišovas) and Marc (Eversley) were looking to gather more information and evaluate that situation, what's that gonna look like, how long are you gonna be there. I think there's a lot of factors that go into that. So I'll probably find out a little bit more when I get back in town after this trip."