The Chicago Bulls announced Friday morning that they have waived J.J. Avila, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Thomas Walkup to trim their roster to the 15-player maximum for the start of the regular season. Later Friday, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported the Bulls have also waived Spencer Dinwiddie, a surprise move compared to the other three.
Walkup was the only player of the four to play in the team’s preseason finale against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night. He is an undrafted rookie out of Stephen F. Austin. After playing for the Warriors in the Summer League, he signed with the Bulls in September. He had two rebounds, one steal and two turnovers in six preseason minutes.
After going undrafted out of Colorado State in the 2015 NBA Draft, Avila spent last season playing in the Belgian League where he averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 18 games. He appeared in two preseason games for the Bulls this year, scoring three points, and also adding two assists and a steal in five minutes.
Smith-Rivera is an undrafted rookie out of Georgetown. In two preseason games with the Bulls, he recorded a rebound and an assist in two minutes.
As for Dinwiddie, he showed promise for the Bulls in both Summer League and preseason, but the acquisition of Michael Carter-Williams squeezed him out. Chicago traded Cameron Bairstow for Dinwiddie during the summer, then waived him, then picked him up again. He notched 19 points in a preseason game against the Indiana Pacers.
The Bulls are coming off a season where they finished with a 42-40 record under head coach Fred Hoiberg and missed the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. After the season, they moved on from point guard Derrick Rose and brought in Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo and Carter-Williams to add depth to their backcourt behind star Jimmy Butler.