Villanova Basketball: Ryan Arcidiacono has found a home in Chicago

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After bouncing around the basketball world following his time with the Villanova Wildcats, Ryan Arcidiacono has finally found a home with the Chicago Bulls.

When the Philadelphia 76ers took the court against the Chicago Bulls, it was a big deal for the City of Brotherly Love.

In a game with serious playoff seating implications, the Sixers pulled out a 20 point win over the 22-58 Bulls and secured their second straight 50 win season.

However, the game also has serious implications for a native Philadelphian playing for the opposing team: Ryan Arcidiacono.

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That’s right, Ryan Arcidiacono; the unquestioned heart of the Villanova Wildcats‘ 2016 championship run has successfully found a home in the NBA; and much like his time on the Main Line, it didn’t come easy.

After failing to hear his name called in the 2016 NBA Draft, Arcidiacono began his professional basketball career in San Antonio on the Spurs’ summer league but ultimately failed to earn a roster spot going into the regular season.

From there, Arch initially signed on to play professionally with Juvecaserta Basket in Italy,  but his contract was ultimately voided when the team was not accepted in Serie A. This led to a return to the Spurs organization, and ultimately a spot on the team’s G-League affiliate ‘the Austin Spurs‘ as part of the Developmental League Draft.

In 47 games of action in Austin, Arcidiacono played fairly well; recording an average of 6.5 points, 3.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and .9 steals a game.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to earn Arch a contract with the ‘big club’ as in July of 2017; he signed a contract with the Bulls to compete for a spot in their currently-in-process rebuild.

But once again, Arcidiacono failed to earn an NBA contract.

Relegated to G-League once more, now on a two-way contract, Arcidiacono put in work with the Windy City Bulls to the tune of 13.9 points, 8.5 assists, five rebounds, and 1.7 steals over 37 starts. Clearly having proven his work, Arch played 24 games with the big club and established himself as a solid piece moving forward.

Fast forward to July of 2018 and Arcidiacono had officially secured his first proper NBA contract, a one-year, minimum deal with an open for the 2019-20 season; his first of many.

Making his debut against the Philadelphia 76ers, the team that should have signed him in the first place, Arcidiacono has appeared in all but one of the Bulls’ games this season; averaging 6.5 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.6 rebounds a game over 30 starts.

Not bad at all for a ‘pass-first’ point guard.

But what does this mean for the ex-Wildcat moving forward? Nothing but good things.

With the Bulls all but guaranteed to pick up his option going into the 2019-20 season, Arcidiacono should at the very least earn the team’s back up point guard role next season and may even become a starter if the team bypasses Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett in the 2019 NBA Draft.

And really, it couldn’t happen to a better point guard.

Next. Jakarr Sampson is still fighting for his NBA dreams. dark

Despite not being the biggest, fastest, or strongest player in the league, Ryan Arcidiacono worked his way up from a G-League reserve to an NBA player with 30 starts under his belt as a sophomore. Pretty impressive stuff for one of the Villanova Wildcats’ all-time greats.