Former Bulls Guard Primed to Join Giannis Antetokounmpo for Bucks’ Title Chase: Report

Chicago Bulls

Getty Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.

One team’s loss is potentially another’s gain.

Former Chicago Bulls guard Goran Dragic has popped up on the radar of the Milwaukee Bucks and a deal could be reached as soon as Friday.

“The Milwaukee Bucks have emerged as the strong front-runner to sign free agent guard Goran Dragic,” reported ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski on March 2. “The Bucks believe Dragic’s tough-minded leadership and abilities can help them off the bench in their championship pursuit.

Dragic was waived after the Bulls signed point guard Patrick Beverley to a deal for the rest of the season on February 21, nine days after he was waived by the Orlando Magic who acquired him in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for Mo Bamba.

The 36-year-old signed with Chicago in the offseason after splitting 2022 with the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets.

His 6.4 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.4 rebounds per game are his worst line since he was a rookie.

Dragic was a rarity in the Bulls locker room calling out the team’s need for a starting point guard, perhaps foretelling his own future.

“I do think the starting unit needs a point guard, that’s for sure,” said the veteran ahead of a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 11, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It is what it is.”

The Bulls are 3-1 since the All-Star break and Beverley signed.

Dragic had also been vocal in his support of teammate Nikola Vucevic who has come under fire during his time in Chicago, a transition Dragic notes required a great deal of sacrifice from the embattled two-time All-Star.

“People don’t get it,’’ Dragic said, per a previous report from Cowley. ‘‘They only see the numbers. That’s not fair…it’s easy to talk about sacrifice if it’s not you. And if it’s not you, who’s doing the sacrificing? When your time comes to sacrifice, everyone can see what you’re really about. When you have to do what…‘Vooch’ is doing, it’s not possible to live up to previous expectations. There’s only one ball, and three guys that can score. Each guy can score in different ways from a different position”.

Patrick Beverley Ruffling Feathers

Interestingly enough, Vucevic has taken umbrage with some of the “finger pointing and the tone with which it has been delivered” of late. This – via a new report from Cowley – comes to light after a public dust-up between the two in the 117-115 win over the Detroit Pistons on March 1.

Beverley’s outspokenness was one of the most-common traits his new teammates said they appreciated about him and that this group lacked.

There is also little to defend in that particular instance.

“I’ve looked at that play a bunch trying to give Vooch the benefit of the doubt on that play,” tweeted Tony Gill of the ‘Bulls Talk Podcast’. “He was wrong. He had no idea where the ball was. He could have said my bad and moved on.”

Vucevic – who had 12 points and nine rebounds against Detroit – is set to be a free agent.

It will be interesting to see how this affects his decision if it all. There was early chatter of mutual interest in a new deal and executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said he wants Vucevic back. But the big man has become increasingly open about his willingness to explore his options this summer after initially hinting that he would be eager to get a new deal done.

Bulls, Goran Dragic Could Cross Paths Again Soon

For his honesty, Dragic’s reward is a new lease on the 2023 season with a Milwaukee Bucks team that sits atop the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls are 2-1 against Milwaukee with one more matchup in the regular season on April 5.

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