The Bulls announced Thursday that second-year player James Johnson has been assigned to the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League.
"Assigning James to the D-League gives him an opportunity to play an extended amount of minutes and will be good for his overall growth," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said.
Johnson, a 6-9 forward, has appeared in just 12 games this season, averaging 3.5 points and two rebounds in 10.2 minutes.
Most of Johnson's playing time came early in the season. Despite helping the Bulls rally to win a couple of games, Johnson's play was inconsistent and he seemed to fall out of favor with coach Tom Thibodeau.
Playing in the D-League will get Johnson some much-needed playing time, but also will leave the Bulls with just 11 healthy players. If Luol Deng gets hurt -- even for a half -- they would be severely short-handed.
The timing of Johnson being sent down is also curious because the Bulls have a lot of practice days coming up and will be a body short.