Rumored interest in Vasilije Micic hints at the Bulls’ offseason plan

Vasilije Micic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Filip Stevanovic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Vasilije Micic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Filip Stevanovic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

NBA trade season has officially begun, as the Rockets’ Christian Wood will be packing his bags and taking a not-so-long journey from Houston to join the Mavericks in Dallas. With this news, you can expect the Chicago Bulls to also be aggressively searching for ways to improve this summer. You won’t have to wait long, it seems, as Chicago already has their eyes set on the Thunder’s international phenom Vasilije Micic.

Per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Bulls join the Milwaukee Bucks as one of two known teams showing active interest in trading for the rights to the EuroLeague star.

Micic has bounced around Europe playing in some of the world’s top basketball leagues and garnering invaluable experience over the last eight years. Most recently, Micic propelled his club Anadolu Efes to back-to-back EuroLeague championships in 2021 and 2022 while also earning the EuroLeague MVP award in 2021.

During that MVP campaign, Micic led his team in both points (16.7) and assists (4.9) per game. He also proved to be a lethal threat from long-range, drilling 38.9% of his three-point attempts across a solid sample size of 40 games played. Since then, he’s continued to make great strides to increase his volume and become a consistently precise sharpshooter.

In 51 games played this year across EuroLeague and the Turkish Super League, Micic has averaged 6.5 three-point attempts per game. His shot was streaky in EuroLeague play this year, but his consistent free throw form and 42.9% mark from deep in the Turkish Super League indicate his shooting should translate well as a valuable skill in the NBA.

These developments are exactly what NBA scouts have been waiting to see for some time, as Micic was actually drafted all the way back in 2014 with the 52nd pick in the draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. Although his draft rights would eventually be sent to the asset-hoarding Thunder in 2020, he has yet to actually make the jump overseas and join Oklahoma City.

The Bulls are among “several playoff teams” vying for international star Vasilije Micic on the trade market this summer.

Taking into account the Bulls are a franchise that has benefitted immensely over the years thanks to European stars like Toni Kukoc, Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, and current Bulls center Nikola Vucevic, it makes sense why Chicago would be keen to add a player like Micic.

It’s also worth noting Chicago’s president of basketball operations ties to the Nuggets, a team that has obviously benefitted by stocking up on international talent like Nikola Jokic, Facundo Campazzo, and Vlatko Cancar. The Bulls may look to emulate Denver’s success here by pursuing a trade for a promising guard such as Micic. While Vasilije Micic could certainly be an interesting addition, perhaps most interesting of all is what the implication of Chicago’s interest means for this team’s long-term outlook.

With a guard rotation consisting of Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Coby White, and Ayo Dosunmu, the Bulls are already loaded up on talent in the backcourt. It makes little sense to continue adding to the team’s guard depth instead of more pressing matters, unless of course if the backcourt isn’t already set in stone for next season.

Recent reports seem to indicate the Bulls are heavily shopping former 2019 lottery pick, Coby White, on the trade market. If White were to be sent elsewhere, there could be a golden opportunity for Micic to slide into his role in Chicago.

If Coby is not on the roster at the beginning of the 2021-22 season, it can be assumed that Caruso and Dosunmu will be the lead reserve guards. However, as Bulls fans learned all too well last year, injuries and other obstacles are bound to come up along the way. Micic would get ample time to shine with the Bulls in this scenario; in fact, it’s hard to imagine any other scenario where trading for a player like Micic even makes sense in the first place.

There is a fair debate to be had if moving Coby White is even the right move in the first place, but as it stands, Vasilije Micic could be an excellent pickup if the Bulls do decide to go down that route. He’s the type of low-risk, high-reward gamble Chicago is going to need to take to elevate to contender status.

Either way, I think all Bulls fans can agree the front office’s priority this summer should still be to address the team’s issues in the frontcourt first. That being said, I certainly don’t despise the idea of the Bulls pursuing a proven talent like Vasilije and doing their best to put a winning product on the court next season.

Next. Breaking down the ideal Rudy Gobert trade package. dark