Bulls, Vucevic have mutual interest in contract extension

Posted: 06/08/2022 in NBA
Tags: , , , , , ,

Four-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic and the Chicago Bulls have a mutual interest in extending his contract and plan to begin discussions in the fall, sources told The Chicago Sun Times’ Joe Cowley.

Vucevic is entering his final season of a four-year, $100-million deal he signed with the Orlando Magic in 2019 and is set to earn $22 million.

The Montenegrin national spent his first full season in Chicago last year after the Magic traded him midway through the 2020-21 campaign. He averaged just 17.6 points per game – his fewest since 2017-18 – while adding 11 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Vucevic’s diminished production correlates with the Bulls’ move to add star guard DeMar DeRozan in free agency. The 31-year-old averaged more than four fewer shots per game than the year prior, forced to share looks with DeRozan and fellow All-Star Zach LaVine.

The big man’s three-point shot also dropped significantly from a career-best 40% in 2020-21 to just 31.4% last season.

Known as a player with a versatile offensive skillset, Vucevic’s struggles illuminated his slow-footed defense. The Bulls finished last season with the fifth-highest field goal percentage allowed to their opponents and the third-most points per game allowed in the pick-and-roll.

Vucevic will have slightly more competition at the center spot as well, with Chicago bringing in veteran big Andre Drummond during the offseason.

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