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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Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

“I thought you were tanking?” The Jazz and Thunder could continue their upward trajectories by signing a proven veteran like Vucevic.

Both teams have young rosters, a boatload of assets, and have far exceeded their preseason expectations this year. That, in theory, would prime both of them to add a veteran presence to help them win, but I still don’t believe that they will be serious threats to sign Vooch in the end.

The Thunder drafted phenom center Chet Holmgren with the second overall pick in the draft and have been waiting for him to return from injury. Doesn’t seem like Vooch would love the idea of going to the Thunder to back Chet up. Additionally, Vooch does not fit the profile of the type of player the Thunder are trying to acquire. The Thunder look to be assembling a team of athletic guys who can dribble, pass, shoot and switch on defense. Vooch does not fit that profile but its possible given the Thunder’s cap space and the success they are having.

The Jazz could have up to 55 million in cap space if Jordan Clarkson declines his player option and the team cuts ties with Kelly Olynyk. I find it to be highly unlikely that the team will get rid of Olynyk who is having a career year and is beloved by Jazz general manager Danny Ainge.

Additionally, moves like shipping out Mike Conely at the deadline to clear cap space give me the hunch that Ainge is looking more to use the cap space to either land a big-name player or to use the space as a dumping ground for bad contracts and receive assets as payments for the waste management.

The only way I could see Vooch to the Jazz happening is if the team makes a series of other aggressive win-now moves which doesn’t match Danny Ainge’s shrewd and patient approach to team building. They’re probably more comfortable moving forward with their frontcourt of Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler for now. So far, I doubt we have seen any genuine threats to sign Vucevic in the summer