How much will it cost to keep Nikola Vucevic on the Bulls?

Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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How much will it cost to re-sign Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images,) /

The Pistons, Spurs, Hornets, and Rockets each have an outside shot of signing Nikola Vucevic, despite being in “Wemby Land”.

These are the four worst teams in the league who have spent the majority of the season attempting to lose more games in order to increase their lottery odds and give themselves a better chance at landing the best prospect since LeBron James, Victor Wembanyama.

The Pistons have a log jam at center: they just drafted rookie center Jalen Duren, traded for former 3rd overall pick James Wiseman, gave Marvin Bagely decent money, and have Isaiah Stewart around. Given that the Pistons still seem to be more focused on developing young talents and that they have spent a decent amount of capital on big men already, I have a hard time seeing them being a suitor.

The Spurs traded Jakob Poeltl to the Raptors at the deadline showing the Spurs are not interested in paying a veteran center. The Spurs are still at least a year away from attempting to be a real team (they currently have the worst defensive rating in NBA history) so I don’t think they will be interested in paying Vooch.

The Rockets have a ton of cap space going into the summer and they owe their draft pick to the OKC Thunder next year, due to the CP3 for Russell Westbrook swap from what feels like eons ago. There have been a number of rumors that James Harden is thinking of going back to the Rockets this summer, signaling also that the team is looking to go from not trying to trying to win games. If the Rockets were to strike out with James Harden, it feels possible that they could pursue Vooch. That said, the Rockets already have Alperen Şengün and Jabari Smith in the frontcourt and have as good of odds as anyone to land Victor Wembanyama.

The Hornets have an extremely complicated summer coming up with free agents in Miles Bridges, who has missed the entire season due to being a domestic abuser, and promising forward PJ Washington (who would be a great addition to the Bulls, but that’s another story). If the Hornets were to keep those two players, they would most likely not have any money left over to sign Vooch. Additionally, the Hornets have gotten good production this season from young centers in rookie Mark Williams and Nick Richards.

However, the Hornets really do have the reputation as the type of team to try and offer Vooch lots of long-term money if one of Bridges or Washington were to walk. Whether or not Vooch would be willing to join a roster that clearly isn’t competing for a championship is a different story altogether.