Goran Dragic expects to play a big role for the Bulls next season

Goran Dragic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Goran Dragic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

When the Chicago Bulls first announced their decision to bring Goran Dragic onto the roster, it was difficult to not be at least a little confused as to why the team wanted to add a 7th guard onto an already stacked frontcourt rotation. However, Dragic may not be coming to Chicago to split minutes with the Bulls’ guards after all, he might just end up outright taking them.

Dragic shared his thoughts about his fit on the Bulls in an interview with Sportsman, the sporting section of popular Slovenian news site Siol.net. Although the article is written in Dragic’s native tongue, it’s easily translatable and offers a lot of insight into his thought process regarding his free agency this summer.

“Many factors played a role, two of which are certainly the excellent coach Billy Donovan and the club’s vice president Arturas Karnišovas. I’ve worked with him in the past with the Houston Rockets,” Dragic says, “There is, of course, Nikola Vucevic. I already talked to Chicago last year, but then things unfortunately took a different direction.”

Dragic seemed remorseful about his decision to instead sign with Brooklyn last year, explaining, “I played with some stars like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and I have to admit that it was quite difficult because the focus was not the team, but more the individual performances of the individuals.”

Now with the Bulls, Goran will have a much more defined role and a specific purpose to help elevate this team to a playoff run.

Although many thought adding Goran Dragic was little more than an insurance policy, he appears intent on playing a major role with the Chicago Bulls.

So far, Dragic’s comments have left me nothing but optimistic about the role he can play with the Bulls. While drama followed him around in Toronto and Brooklyn last season, he seems confident he can find his place here in the Windy City. Dragic elaborates, “We know the Chicago Bulls have a really good history, so it’s going to be an honor to wear the jersey and hopefully we have a good season ahead of us. Last year, I was positively surprised by their performances for most of the season.”

Goran says the other team that showed heavy interest during free agency was the Mavericks. After losing Jalen Brunson, it only makes sense that Dallas would look to recoup some guard depth. However, he says the Mavericks were unwilling to offer a large enough role to satisfy him.

Surprisingly, it seems the Bulls were not nearly as hesitant to promise Dragic playing time, in spite of their wealth of talent in the backcourt. “With Chicago, I will be the second playmaker, playing 20-25 minutes per game, so the role will be quite large,” says Dragic.

This means we can likely expect the Bulls to employ more of the three-guard lineups that we commonly saw last season. Between Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White, and the newly acquired Dragic, it’s just impossible to give these guys the minutes they deserve without playing small.

One of the biggest concerns surrounding Dragic is his age, as the veteran point guard just turned 36 years old in May. He seems less concerned than I, however, as he attempts to alleviate any fears regarding his age. “Despite being 36 years old, I feel great and will try to last as long as possible. I have two more seasons on the court in mind, and we’ll see how things go along the way.”

I think it would be great if Dragic had another two solid seasons in him before he retires. But if the former All-NBA talent has any mileage left on those legs, I would be satisfied with just one more productive season with the Bulls as well.

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