Despite being undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls have opted to bring in Rayvonte Rice out of the University of Illinois for the 2015 Summer League. The Bulls will hope that they can develop Rice into a solid rotational piece and either put him on their roster or "stash" him elsewhere.
Rice transferred to Illinois after spending two years at Drake. Rice was not sought after by Bruce Weber, but was recruited heavily by John Groce when he was still at Ohio, which helped to cement his transfer to the Fighting Illini. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard is slightly undersized for his position at the NBA level, but will be helped by his solid 230 pound frame and long wingspan. Illinois struggled on the offensive end last season, and as a result looked for Rice to generate a lot of its offense.
Though he was not the point guard, he had one of the highest usage rates in the nation, and was called upon to create a lot of his own looks. Rice has a quick first step and is adept at slashing to the basket, with excellent body control. While Rice thrives at getting to the hole, he will need to continue to work on his outside shooting to excel in the NBA. Part of his shooting woes can probably be attributed to his high usage rate and the Illini struggling to generate offense, but his awful shooting percentage on jumpers cannot be completely dismissed. The Bulls will also likely hope to help Rice improve his court vision, after averaging only 1.8 assists in his senior season despite having the ball in his hands so often.
On the defensive end, Rice has the tools to be a very effective player. His long wingspan helps to make up for his lack of height, making it difficult to shoot over him on the perimeter as well as allowing him to be very strong on closeouts. Rice is aggressive going on the defensive glass, and though few would say he has explosive hops, he uses his length and excellent positioning to get the edge against bigger opponents. Rice could help to provide exactly the type of depth that teams crave with the ability to put the defense on its heels and make things tough for opposing offenses.