The Chicago Bulls have had rumored interest in Euroleague MVP Vasiljie Micic for the past couple of years, but his contract situation with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish League and the Oklahoma City Thunder owning his NBA rights is likely something of a stumbling block.
Recent tough injury news related to Lonzo Ball suggests the Bulls might be as set at point guard as they planned. The 6-foot-5-inch Micic might be an even more attractive option for the Bulls at the moment.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently tweeted about Micic’s desire to come to the NBA and how at 28, he doesn’t fit the current rebuilding plan the Thunder are embracing.
NBC Sports’ Mark Schanowski mentioned Micic as a potential option in light of Ball’s gimpy knee.
Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas recently revealed Ball’s injured knee hasn’t been responding as quickly as the team had hoped, but they were still hopeful he would be ready for the start of the NBA season.
Is This Why Coby White Hasn’t Been Traded?
This might explain why the Bulls haven’t traded Coby White. If Ball cannot start the season healthy, Bulls’ head coach Billy Donovan may have to turn to White as the starter, or at least someone capable of playing key minutes off the bench.
Micic could be the lead guard the Bulls need, with or without Ball. For his career, he is a .369 percent shooter from three-point range. He makes under 84% of his free throws while being a dependable scorer overall. In Euroleague play this past year, he averaged 18 points per contest. He also grabbed 4.5 rebounds and dished 4.5 assists per game.
Here is a look at a recent highlight reel on Micic from this past season.
Could the Bulls Deal White to the Thunder for the Rights to Micic?
The Thunder may not want or need Micic because of his age, but could they get any usage out of White? A deal sending White and perhaps the rights to Devon Dotson to the Thunder for JaMychal Green and the rights to Micic would work for both teams.
Remember, White is still just 22 years old. He’s averaged 13.7 points per game in his three-year NBA career, made 38% of his threes, 85% of his free throws, and dished 3.5 assists per game.
Few young guards in the league can boast a better resume from a statistical standpoint. White could come in and compete with Theo Maledon, Jalen Williams, and Tre Mann for playing time behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. White makes $7.4 million, and Green is on the books for $8.2 million. Dotson’s inclusion would be there to bring some financial balance as well as another young potential asset for the Thunder.
Green is a veteran power forward who could potentially back up Patrick Williams. Meanwhile, a deal to sign Micic could be worked out with Chicago, and the Bulls would have serious talent ready to step in for Ball or to play the sixth-man role powering the reserves with Alex Caruso.
Adding Micic and Green would push the Bulls closer to being a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. However, a ton of things would need to happen before this scenario could become a reality.