Nikola Vucevic is widely viewed as a top-10 center in the league, due to his versatility offensively, most notably his ability to shoot and space the floor. He had a rough season with the Chicago Bulls but still managed to put up 17.6 PPG, 11.0 RPG, and 3.2 APG.
Even though he struggled this year, it seems as though the Chicago Bulls are interested in having "initial discussions" with Nikola Vucevic about a contract extension, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.
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.
Why? Because if the price is right, Vucevic remains the type of player who fits in with how the Bulls were built on both ends of the floor.
Offensively, he spaces the floor and is a willing playmaker. Defensively, the Bulls have invested in playing defense from the outside in. Because of the personnel they have under contract the next few seasons, it would be hard to pivot from that.
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.
It remains to be seen if the Chicago Bulls and Nikola Vucevic can come to an agreement in the future. There is no doubt that there are some benefits to potentially locking up Vucevic for the short term.
The Chicago Bulls should be a solid playoff team next year, and we'll see if they can make a deep run. They notably got eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round this year, but perhaps they will fare better next season. Their first season was a success as they broke the team's playoff drought, but now it's about taking the next step towards the championship.