Cost for Bulls to Potentially Sign Two-Time EuroLeague Champ Revealed

Chicago Bulls

Getty Anadolu Efes Istanbul's Vasilije Micic celebrates

The Chicago Bulls were among a group of teams interested in two-time EuroLeague Finals MVP, Vasilije Micic, per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. Now, we have gotten word of what it might take to convince the 28-year-old point guard to play stateside.

BasketNews.com’s Donata Urbonas reported that Micic is “ready to risk” making the change. Micic had previously spoken on the stigma attached to European players as being one hurdle.

Still, Micic has drawn interest from the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and the San Antonio Spurs in addition to the Bulls. Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto does confirm Micic’s interest in playing in the NBA next season while also noting the guard’s expected price range.


Setting the Table

Micic is regarded as the best point guard in Europe. He averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.7 rebounds with 1.1 steals last season, per EuroLeagueBaskebtall.net. He shot 58.2% from the floor but 33.9% from deep last season.

He has led his club, Anadolu Efes, to back-to-back EuroLeague championships winning league MVP honors in 2021. Former Bulls forward, Nikola Mirotic won it this past season.

Micic, reports Scotto, would like to land with a “playoff team” as he aims to play in the NBA.

“Micic is seeking a salary close to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception if he’s going to play in the NBA next season, league sources told HoopsHype.”

The Bulls will have access to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception this offseason worth $10.3 million, per Alex Kirschenbaum of BlogABull.com.

That should be enough financially. But the Bulls are not the only team seeking to land Micic. The Nuggets are even getting support for the move from reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic, per Fischer’s latest update on the situation.

“Micic remains a hot name on the trade market. OKC holds his draft rights, and Nikola Jokic has been said to be a driving factor in Denver’s interest to obtain the EuroLeague MVP.”

On top of potentially having to lock up their assets while awaiting a decision were they to pursue Micic, the Bulls have to weigh the value of such a signing.


All for One

Once the Bulls re-sign Zach LaVine as expected, per ESPN’s David Kaplan, their only means to improve the roster will be via the mid-level exception, trades, or minimum contracts. That adds to the significance of every move they make.

Committing the full mid-level to Micic, while also having to expend draft capital, and/or a player as well could be a non-starter for a team whose depth was an issue.

It is also not certain how big of a need the position is.

Despite exploring their trade options, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the Bulls stood pat in the 2022 NBA Draft and selected Arizona guard, Dalen Terry, with the 18th-overall pick. That led to some questions as to what it meant for the health status of Lonzo Ball.

Ball has been dealing with soreness in his surgically repaired knee that turned a 6-to-8 week recovery into a season-ender after just 35 games.

However, Bulls general manager Marc Eversley said he views Terry as more of a wing than a guard. He also said that, while he cannot give specifics on Ball’s status, the reports from the sports performance team were “positive” in his media availability on draft night.

Chicago also has Ayo Dosunmu heading into his second year following an impressive rookie season.

Much of the Bulls’ outlook depends on Ball being healthy.


Micic a Necessary Luxury?

If Ball is healthy, the Bulls would not need Micic. But the lack of clarity of whether or not he will be available for training camp from Eversley is compounded by his injury history. He has played in a declining number of games in each of the last three seasons.

Despite missing so much time, Ball ranked third on the Bulls in the percentage of assists on his teammates’ made shots, per Cleaning the Glass.

Micic did not put up gaudy numbers. But he is an adept passer, especially in the pick-and-roll.


Vasilije Micić: master of passing in pick & roll0:00 Pass to roll 0:51 Pass to pop 1:18 Pass to 3rd man baskeroseno.com2020-05-15T17:26:00Z

The Bulls ranked third in plays finished by the ball handler and second in plays finished by the roll man during the regular season, per NBA.com.

Micic would certainly add value as a veteran table-setter with a champion’s background. But the Bulls still have other needs. Most notably, rim protection which Eversley said was a priority to “complement” what Nikola Vucevic does.

Still, his passing could be a boost for the Bulls’ big man should they have to go a long stretch without Ball once again this season.

Read More
,
Comment Here
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x