Nikola Vučević, the two-time All-Star center who was traded to the Chicago Bulls in March, has confirmed that he will test the free agency market this summer.
However, he also expressed his desire to stay with the Bulls and called them a “priority” for his future.
Vučević, who averaged 21.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in 26 games with the Bulls, said he enjoyed playing in Chicago and appreciated the organization’s commitment to winning.
“I love it here. I think we have a great group of guys, a great coach, a great front office. They made me feel very welcome from day one. They showed me that they really wanted me here and that they value me as a player and as a person,” Vučević said in an interview with ESPN.
Vučević also praised his chemistry with Zach LaVine, the Bulls’ leading scorer and fellow All-Star, who missed 11 games due to health and safety protocols.
He said he believes they can form a formidable duo in the Eastern Conference.
“We didn’t have much time to play together, but when we did, I think we showed some great potential. He’s an amazing player, one of the best scorers in the league.
He can do so many things on the court. I think we complement each other well. We can both play inside and outside, we can both pass and create for others.
We can be very dangerous together,” Vučević said.
Vučević also expressed his optimism about the Bulls’ chances of making the playoffs next season, after they fell short of the play-in tournament this year with a 31-41 record.
“I think we have a lot of room for improvement. We have a lot of talent on this team. We have some young guys who can get better. We have some veterans who can bring leadership and experience.
We have a good mix of everything. We just need to work hard this summer, get healthy, get on the same page and come back stronger next year,” Vučević said.
Vučević said he will explore his options as a free agent, but he also made it clear that he wants to be part of the Bulls’ future.
“I’m going to test free agency because that’s my right as a player. I want to see what’s out there for me. But I also want to make it clear that Chicago is my priority.
I want to be here. I want to win here. I want to be part of this franchise’s history,” Vučević said.
Final Thoughts: Nikola Vučević Prioritizes Staying with the Bulls in Free Agency
Nikola Vučević’s announcement that he will test free agency this summer is not surprising, considering he is a highly sought-after center who can contribute significantly to any team.
However, his comments on his desire to stay with the Chicago Bulls and his optimistic outlook on the team’s future are encouraging for Bulls fans.
Vučević’s performance in his 26 games with the Bulls was outstanding, averaging over 21 points and 11 rebounds per game. He quickly formed a strong bond with Zach LaVine, the Bulls’ leading scorer, and showed potential as a formidable duo in the Eastern Conference.
Moreover, Vučević’s praise for the Bulls organization, including their front office and coaching staff, reflects the positive environment the Bulls have created for their players.
It is no wonder that Vučević wants to be part of the Bulls’ future and help the franchise win and make history.
While Vučević’s decision to explore his options as a free agent is understandable, Bulls fans can take comfort in the fact that he has expressed his intention to prioritize staying with the team.
If the Bulls can retain Vučević, it would be a significant boost to their chances of making the playoffs next season and beyond.
In conclusion, Vučević’s desire to stay with the Bulls and his positive outlook on the team’s future should excite Bulls fans. While there is no guarantee that he will remain with the team, Bulls management should do everything in their power to retain him and continue building a competitive team.