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NBA Rumors: Chicago Bulls to offer two-time All-Star a contract extension right around training camp

Action from the Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets game
Action from the Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets game
Karan Vinod

Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic came under scrutiny after a disappointing showing against the Milwaukee Bucks in this year's postseason. Reports emerged that the Bulls might be looking to move him ahead of the upcoming season.

However, those reports seem premature as the Chicago Sun Times' Joe Cowley reported that a contract extension is imminent for the center. Cowley wrote that the Bulls are confident about signing him to an extension when training camp starts.

"And not only is he still with the Bulls, but a source said both sides want him to stay with the team beyond the last year of his contract this coming season and will have initial discussions on what that might look like when training camp begins in the fall," Cowley wrote.

Vucevic is currently on a four-year, $100 million deal from his time with the Orlando Magic. The Bulls acquired him mid-way through the 2020-21 season via trade. They finally started to surround All-Star Zach LaVine with the right players.

The upcoming season marks the last year of Vucevic's contract as he is an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023. Despite being 32 years old, Vucevic will be in demand due to his ability to space the floor with his perimeter shooting.

The Chicago Bulls could sign him on a three-year deal, with the third year possibly an option. This deal will allow them to trade him if his defense doesn't improve or keep him for at least another two years. He would play alongside Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball as they enter their prime years.

Center Nikola Vucevic and the Chicago Bulls will have contract extension talks during training camp, per @JCowleyHoops. chicago.suntimes.com/sports-saturda…

What do the Chicago Bulls need to contend for the championship?

The Bulls need Zach LaVine to recover from his knee surgery
The Bulls need Zach LaVine to recover from his knee surgery

The Chicago Bulls finally made their second postseason appearance in the last seven seasons. The franchise struggled, losing Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler to different teams.

However, this year's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in five games provided a stern warning to the franchise. There is still a long way to go for championship contention. Giannis Antetokounmpo and company severely exploited the flaws of the team. Their defense and the lack of big men hurt the Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic is the first Bulls player since Michael Jordan in 1996 with 35 points, 15 rebounds & 3 blocks in a single game https://t.co/lgUaDiY6Kp

As aforementioned, Nikola Vucevic came under immense criticism after Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis and others bullied him in the paint in the playoffs. Patrick Williams is believed to be the second-coming of Kawhi Leonard and will most certainly improve their defense. However, the Chicago Bulls need LaVine and Vucevic to improve defensively.

The Chicago Bulls also need their key players to stay healthy. Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Patrick Williams have been pivotal to their success; all three have a history of being injury-prone. If they can improve defensively while adding size to their roster, they could pose a severe threat in the East.


Edited by Chad Marriott

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