New Faces In Chicago
- By Steve Thomas, Day 1, 2022
A look into some of the new faces in Chicago.
PF/C Antoine Willis was taken with the 19th pick in the 1st round. An athletic, hardworking, defensively talented big man out of Arkansas.
GM Simpson was quoted saying, "Antoine is someone we were very excited about in the early stages of the evaluation process. He tested out very well for us, and we thought he may not make it to where we were selecting. I was ecstatic to find him on the board and am very happy to welcome him to Chicago."
Antoine is slightly undersized so we will see how many minutes he plays at Center, but should be able to give Rasheed Stone a breather. Willis is the likely 6th man coming into the 2022 season.
PG/SG Brennan Canady was taken with the 51st pick in the 2nd round. A 3 year starter at Florida A&M, Canady was able to play an efficient game both scoring and distributing the ball. There are questions surrounding whether he will be able to contribute right away even as a drafted senior.
GM Simpson had this to say about Canaday, "Canady is the player we got really excited about in the 11th hour of the evaluation process. He was able to produce at a consistent level without having a high usage%. I think that if he develops in our system he an be a great asset for our top scorers"
PG Myree Billings signed a 2 year deal at $5,500,000/season. Billings makes his way back to Chicago after a brief stint in 2016 where he was sent to the Knights in a deal that yielded Keydren Carter. In his 10th year Billings is going to get another chance at being the unquestioned starter at the point guard position.
GM Simpson: "Jason Cheaney played a lot of point guard for us last year after Brisby went down and he did very well. I want to see Cheaney maintain his status as the Jailbirds' leading play maker, however I think we needed to shift him back to shooting guard. Billings has that clutch gene and workhorse attitude that I covet in players. He will be able to bring us closer to our championship goal."
The Jailbirds have also signed reserve players Justin Rooks (SG/SF) and Chris Williams (PG) to bring to training camp.
GM Simpson: "We aren't done in Free Agency. We will continue to evaluate players who fit the Jailbirds' style of basketball and may bring more than 15 players to camp. Unfortunately we will have cuts if that is the case."