3 Bulls who deserve to be re-signed in 2023 if they finish season strong

Zach LaVine, Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine, Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

1. Nikola Vucevic

In his first full season with the Bulls in 2020-21, things did not exactly go as planned for Nikola Vucevic. The big man suffered significant drops in efficiency from practically every area on the court, and he drew a lot of flak from the fanbase as he stumbled to his worst individual season since 2016-17.

Considering acquiring Vucevic in the first place cost the Bulls Wendell Carter Jr., the pick that became Franz Wagner, and another projected lottery pick in this year’s upcoming draft, it’s understandable why so many fans (including myself) would be frustrated with Vucevic’s performance. This wasn’t the All-Star center we were promised.

I’d hate to fall victim to the sunk-cost fallacy here, so entering the season I was entirely in support of accepting the bad decision and cutting ties with Vooch in the summer… until he started playing. This season, Vooch looks like an entirely different player and has been far more dependable and consistent.

Now that he’s playing like a top center in the NBA again, the Chicago Bulls should consider re-signing Nikola Vucevic.

There’s a night and day difference between the Vucevic of last year and what we’re watching now. His box plus/minus has skyrocketed from 0.9 to 3.0, and he’s on pace to achieve the second-highest win shares of his career — which is quite the achievement, considering the Bulls haven’t actually won all that many games this season.

Instead of just comparing Vucevic to his past self, however, let’s see how he statistically stacks up against the other centers around the league.

  • Points: 7th
  • Rebounds: 2nd
  • Blocks: 22nd
  • Three-Pointers: 4th

Nobody outside of Chicago is going to give Vucevic the credit he deserves, as the Bulls have struggled to win and even if they did, LaVine and DeRozan would likely be attributed the credit. But when looking at things objectively, Vucevic has been one of the league’s best centers this season. He’s accumulated enough raw stats to be compared to the NBA’s best while being the Bulls’ third option, while also achieving the most efficient true shooting season of his career.

At this point in his career, Vucevic says he’s made enough money to prioritize being on a winning team and pursuing a championship rather than taking the biggest offer possible. Whether or not the Bulls have done enough to convince Vooch a championship is a realistic goal for this team, well, that much remains to be seen.

Next. Zach LaVine has surpassed Derrick Rose in Bulls history. dark