The Chicago Bulls are continuing to explore ways to add depth, and potentially more, at the point guard position. After spending a lot of resources on the position last summer, they have been linked to Serbian prospect, Vasilije Micic.
Micic, 28, is just one year removed from leading his club to a championship.
The point guard averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.7 rebounds with 1.1 steals. He shot 58.2% from the floor but 33.9% from deep last season, per EuroLeagueBaskebtall.net.
What can he bring to the Bulls and how can they acquire him?
Ready to Make the Leap
The Bulls’ reported interest comes via Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. However, they are not alone in having exploratory discussions. They could be vying against their division rivals and the 2021 NBA Champs.
Some rival executives were prepared for [Monte] Morris to be replaced by Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic, whose rights are held by OKC, as part of the Green trade. Micic, 28, led Turkish club Anadolu Efes to the 2020-21 EuroLeague title while winning the EuroLeague MVP and has garnered trade interest from several playoff teams, such as Milwaukee and Chicago, sources said.
It is interesting that the Denver Nuggets are also linked to Micic. That is the former team of Bulls vice president of basketball operations, Arturas Karnisovas, and where Micic’s teammate on the Serbian national squad, Nikola Jokic, currently plays.
Micic was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014 after the then-20–year-old led his U19 national team to a second-place finish behind the United States in 2013. Even then, his IQ was noteworthy, per Ethan Rothstein for SB Nation.
Micic has made no secret of his desire to come overseas after having so much success.
But he also acknowledges the stigma that is still attached to international players, per BasketNews.
“They do not know me so well. Even though I can play 10 more years as MVP in Europe, they still have doubts about players from EuroLeague.”
Depth and Insurance
Chicago has questions outside of depth that could make them a good fit for the 6-foot-5 Micic who also won back-to-back Final Four MVPs overseas. Lonzo Ball’s ailing knee has been the source of much consternation.
A 6-to-8 week timeline for recovery has extended into the offseason with multiple pauses along the way.
No additional procedures have been announced and Ball recently posted pictures on Instagram working out with his father. The elder Ball was critical of how early in his recovery process the Bulls had his son doing basketball activities.
The Bulls also have to take backup point guard Alex Caruso’s all-out playing style into consideration as well after he missed half of the season with a wrist injury.
Meanwhile, Coby White appears to be good as gone as he heads into the final year of his rookie deal. Fischer reports that the Bulls are still actively shopping him along with the 18th-overall pick in the NBA Draft on June 23.
They still have impressive young guard Ayo Dosunmu. But “young” is the operative word as he heads into his second year as a former second-round pick himself.
Head Coach Billy Donovan has also featured multiple ball-handlers at the same time before.
If Micic is choosing between the Bucks and Bulls, that could make things tougher for Chicago who got bounced by Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs after just five games.
Hard to Beat the Competition
Milwaukee would have the promise of contending for a championship. They also figure to have more playing time readily available with very little in the way of a backup point guard behind starter Jrue Holiday.
BasketNews.com’s Donata Urbonas reports that Micic is “ready to risk” coming over.
This could be the Bulls’ best chance to acquire a player Givony says is “arguably the best point guard in Europe”.
Will they feel the need to make that move despite spending nearly $117 million in free agency and the trade market, as well as a second-round pick, on the position last summer? If so, what does that say about the status of the rest of the group?