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NBA Rumors: Chicago Bulls Will Have 'Internal Discussions' On Extending Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic

With Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, and DeMar DeRozan, the Chicago Bulls have a solid core group of guys that can compete with the best of them.

Down low, the presence of Nikola Vucevic adds some much-needed depth in the front court, where he provides rebounding, post play, and a big body to throw at opposing teams.

Despite his value, however, the guy hasn't met expectations so far, and many Bulls fans are hoping he'll be traded before the start of training camp in a few weeks. Apparently, the Bulls are still mulling the idea of extending his current deal, which is set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season.

(via Chicago Sun-Times):

Vucevic admitted he was bringing his offensive miscues to the defensive side of the ball during the first half of last season, and that is never a good look. That’s why trading Vucevic became a common hot take on social media at the start of the offseason.

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....

Sure, the Bulls can look for a trade, but their draft picks are drying up after acquiring Vucevic two seasons ago and real trade assets are limited. And a look at the free-agent center class next summer shows 37-year-old Al Horford, often-injured Myles Turner and little else. Extending Vucevic on a one-year deal with a player option for the 2024-25 season would make sense for both sides, considering how long the contracts of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso run.

Last season, thanks mostly to DeRozan and LaVine, the Bulls finished 6th in the East after a hot start. For the first time in years, they secured a place in the postseason and looked to be a real threat.

They didn't end up getting very far, and there are many who are pessimistic about their chances going forward. But if the Bulls want to maximize their potential to win, they are going to have to figure out how to best utilize Vucevic and the unique skill set he brings.

If not, trading him for another player might just be the best thing they can do.