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Marquette's Justin Lewis was expected to be a second-round pick in the NBA draft on Thursday.
Instead, 58 selections were made and Lewis' name wasn't called. But minutes after the draft ended, the Athletic's Shams Charania reported that Lewis will sign a two-way contract with the Chicago Bulls.
With a two-way contract, Lewis will be able to bounce between the NBA and the G League. Each NBA team is allowed two such deals. Players are allowed to spend no more than 45 days in the NBA.
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Lewis had a rapid rise over his two seasons at MU. The Baltimore native committed to former Golden Eagles coach Steve Wojciechowski as a top 75 prospect in the 2020 class.
Lewis averaged 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in 21 minutes per game as a freshman and had a highlight tap-in to beat rival Wisconsin in his fourth college game. But a leg injury hampered him late in the season.
Lewis stayed at MU after a coaching change and enjoyed a breakout sophomore season under Shaka Smart. He averaged 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds in 32.2 minutes per game and was named to the all-Big East first team. He was also honored as the conference's most improved player.
Lewis declared for the draft in April and then, after working out for almost 20 NBA teams, announced on June 1 that he was forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility.
"He's just on a great trajectory right now," Smart said of Lewis earlier this month. "The guys that I've been around and I've coached at VCU, Texas and then here, guys that have made the leap or attempted to make the leap from college to the NBA, the No. 1 thing you can have going for you is to be going (up).
"And he really is. If you look at what he did his sophomore year compared to his freshman year and the way that he grew, not just as a player but as a person, it was incredible."
NBA teams have long been intrigued by Lewis' physical gifts. At the NBA combine in May, his wingspan measured 7 feet 2.5 inches. His hand width was measured at 10.5 inches.
Lewis also has shown a rapid improvement in his shooting. His three-point percentage increased from 21.9% his first season at MU to 35.2% on a much larger volume.
But there were concerns among NBA teams about Lewis' footspeed and if he could guard on the perimeter at the NBA level.
Now Lewis will need to continue improving while logging time in the G League.
"It's a situation where now 'OK, I find out where I'm going and who I'm playing for' and now it's time to continue that trajectory," Smart said. "I'm excited for him. When you get to that level, obviously the competition goes up, the expectations go up.
"He's going to have a learning curve like anyone else. But he's a great guy who's really grown and he's really motivated. He's been working his butt off. So I'm excited to follow him and root for him."
Darryl Morsell signs with Utah Jazz
Former Marquette guard Darryl Morsell went undrafted, but signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Utah Jazz.
The 6-foot-5 Morsell played his fifth NCAA season with the Golden Eagles, averaging 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He also spent four seasons at Maryland and was named Big Ten defensive player of the year in 2020-21 season.
— Marquette Basketball (@MarquetteMBB) June 25, 2022
Exhibit 10 contracts allow players to attend training camp in the fall and include bonuses for signing with that team's G League affiliate if he is waived.
Theo John on Minnesota's summer league team
Former MU big man Theo John, who spent last season at Duke, signed a deal to play with the Minnesota Timberwolves' summer-league team.
— Theo John (@Theojohn123) June 24, 2022
The 6-foot-9 John is a Minnesota native who piled up 191 blocks for the Golden Eagles from 2017-2021, the second-most in program history. He then was a key role player off the bench for the Blue Devils in his extra season of NCAA eligibility, reaching the NCAA Final Four.
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Marquette's Justin Lewis reportedly gets 2-way deal with Chicago Bulls