The Chicago Bulls were reportedly interested in acquiring Serbian star Vasilije Micic in a potential trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who own his NBA rights. Thanks to an announcement that hit on Thursday, neither the Thunder nor the Bulls will have to worry about finding a spot for Micic this season.
According to the Anadolu Efes SK Twitter account, Micic has decided to re-up with his current squad for the next three seasons.
The move would seemingly take another potential point guard off the board for the Bulls, who will almost certainly be looking to upgrade the position this offseason.
Micic’s agent sent a message to the Thunder that his client would not be interested in coming to the NBA unless he was assured of a starting role on a team. Apparently, he didn’t get that guarantee from Oklahoma City, and Micic decided to remain in the Euroleague.
The 27-year-old might have been a great fit alongside Zach LaVine if a deal could have been made with the Thunder. He’s a heady player capable of executing in the pick-and-roll. Micic is also good friends with reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.
Bulls VP of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas is the man chiefly responsible for bringing Jokic to the NBA when he was a part of the Denver Nuggets’ front office. There was at least a thought that Micic’s presence might serve as an attraction for Jokic to come to Chicago down the line.
It’s all a moot point now.
Also on Wednesday, the NBA announced the Toronto Raptors’ Jalen Harris, a talented catch-and-shoot combo guard who might have been attainable through a trade or restricted free agency, was banned for at least a year after violating the league’s anti-drug policy.
On Wednesday, we learned of a report that suggests unrestricted free agent Dennis Schroder is looking for a contract worth $100-$120 million, which would seemingly push him outside of the pay range the Bulls are willing to fork over to their next point guard.
Who is Still Left for the Bulls?
Many of the same names Bulls fans have been hearing about over the past few months are still possibilities for the team to sign or trade for this offseason.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball, Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, Brooklyn Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie, Charlotte Hornets’ Devontae Graham and a few others are among the most popular names.
What About Kemba Walker?
FanSided’s Ian Levy came up with a potential five-team trade involving the Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers and the Thunder. When the dust settles on Levy’s proposed deal, the Bulls would have Kemba Walker, Anfernee Simons and Derrick Jones Jr. after parting ways with Thaddeus Young and Lauri Markkanen in a sign-and-trade deal.
Here is Levy’s breakdown of the Bulls’ side of the trade:
This trade definitely pushes the Chicago Bulls in a win-now direction and relies heavily on an optimistic projection of Kemba Walker’s ability to stay healthy. Young and Markkanen are both frontcourt players and losing defense and versatility (from the former) and shooting (from the latter) definitely changes the Bulls. But it also allows room for Patrick Williams to step into a bigger offensive role in his second season. Jones Jr. is a decent wing defender who provides depth. Simons is still figuring out an NBA role but he’s a 21-year-old guard with significant creation upside who shot 42.6 percent from beyond the arc last season. And of course, if Walker is healthy, he’s a game-changing offensive addition, sharing the creation load with Zach LaVine, helping space the floor when he’s off the ball and forming another devastating pick-and-roll combination with Nikola Vucevic.
While a move involving five teams seems like a lot to imagine, perhaps the acquisition of a player like Walker is another realistic possibility that should be added to the mix of potential scenarios in Chicago.
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