Bulls’ Nikola Vucevic keeps producing big games in contract year

Vucevic keeps producing big games in contract year originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

It seemed fitting that Nikola Vucevic continued his recent stretch of strong play with a monster game in Orlando Saturday night as the Chicago Bulls downed the Magic 128-109.

After all, Vucevic, who posted his 12th double-double in 14 games with a bulging box score of 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, is in a contract year. Just like he was in 2018-19 when he averaged 20.8 points, 12 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the Magic.

Similar to his current situation with the Bulls, the Magic didn’t seriously entertain contract extension talks entering 2018-19. After Vucevic delivered his huge season, the Magic promptly signed him to a four-year, $100 million deal.

That same deal is expiring this offseason. The Bulls didn’t seriously entertain contract extension talks with Vucevic last offseason and now face a decision as the Feb. 9 trade deadline looms.

Roll the dice and try to either trade or extend Vucevic this offseason? Move him by Feb. 9 to make sure he doesn’t walk for nothing?

As an unrestricted free agent, Vucevic has say where he plays next come July 1. And it’s certainly Bulls management’s responsibility to have an idea of where their center’s head is at given the price tag it paid to acquire him in March 2021.

The Magic are still reaping benefits from that trade past the contributions they are receiving from Wendell Carter Jr. and Franz Wagner. The Bulls still owe a first-round pick that will convey in this June’s NBA draft as long as it’s outside the top-four selections.

All season, Vucevic has said he isn’t focused on business, just basketball.

“I’m feeling very good right now. I’m really in a rhythm,” Vucevic said. “I’m really finding my spots within the game, whether it’s making shots or making plays for others or rebounding.”

Story continues

The rebounding surge began when Vucevic noticed while watching film that he wasn’t being as aggressive as he typically is pursuing the ball.

“There was one little stretch for awhile where I did my work early to get my guy out and then…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/bulls-nikola-vucevic-keeps-producing-025652422.html?src=rss

Author : NBC Sports Chicago

Publish date : 2023-01-29 02:56:52

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