Bulls News: Sources expect Nikola Vucevic to ink three-year deal

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

Before the Chicago Bulls can carry on with any of the wild trade speculation floating around this week, they must first get their priorities in order and decide what they intend to do with the impending free agents on the roster. Nikola Vucevic and Coby White headline this year’s group of players testing the market for a big payday, and deciding whether or not to retain the two will likely decide just where this team is heading in the future.

Fortunately, it seems the former is willing to make things easy for us, as talk around the league suggests that the Montenegrin is favoring a return to the Windy City for the 2023-24 campaign (and beyond).

HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto provided an invaluable preview of the impending free agency period with scoops on highly sought-after free agents such as Fred Van Vleet, OG Anunoby, and even Chicago’s own Nikola Vucevic. Here’s what he had to say regarding Vooch.

"“The belief among various NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype is that Nikola Vucevic, one of the top free agents on the market, will re-sign with the Chicago Bulls. Vucevic’s projected free agency value, according to those executives, is three years in the $65 million range.”"

This deal would launch Nikola up into the NBA’s upper echelon of highly-paid centers, a position that has had to survive a tremendous amount of growth in the face of an increasingly three-point-oriented league.

All signs now point toward the Chicago Bulls retaining Nikola Vucevic on a sizeable multi-year contract extension in free agency.

As it currently stands, Zach LaVine is the only member of the Bulls’ roster who is signed through at least the 2025-26 season, but this deal would add Vucevic to the club. By the team the deal expires, Vooch would be just a few months removed from turning 36 years old.

And therein lies the problem many fans see with signing the big man to a long-term deal. As good as he was for the Bulls last season, we may never see a consistent performance like that from him again. Even as a relatively healthy unit last season, the Bulls majorly underachieved due to poor roster construction. Still, the fact that Vucevic is arguably the best free agent center on the market means the Bulls stand to lose by letting him walk for nothing.

Earlier this month, it was rumored that Vucevic was nearing a multi-year extension with Chicago. He addressed these rumors directly, providing relief for all those who were looking forward to seeing the big man back in red and white next season.

“It’s nice to hear that the front office has confidence in you and believes in you,” Vucevic said, “We’ll see what happens when the time comes to discuss a new contract. I feel good here. I’m in a good place.”

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