The Chicago Bulls have had an interesting free agency thus far. Most importantly, Zach LaVine signed a max deal to stay in Chicago. Outside of that, the Bulls have made small moves here and there. While fans expressed frustration as the Chicago missed out on bigger names like Danilo Gallinari, the Bulls already re-signed Derrick Jones Jr. and picked up rebounding god Andre Drummond on the market. The Bulls had 14 contracts with those moves, and it looks like they just picked up their 15th. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports the Bulls agreed to a deal with guard Goran Dragic.
This should just about wrap up free agency for Chicago pending any other moves. Dragic is fresh off a season where he split time between Toronto and Brooklyn. He put up consistent, pedestrian numbers for both teams in only 21 games. On the season, Dragic averaged 7.5 PPG, 4.1 APG, and 3.1 RPG in 23.7 MPG. While those numbers won’t leave you inspired or—if you’re like BuzzOnTap—boil your hotdog water, Dragic has put together a 14-year NBA career in which he has shown solid offensive contributions and floor spacing.
Two things stand out immediately about this news. First, Dragic makes an already-crowded guard rotation even more cramped. This could signal a move for Chicago, such as trading Coby White, or it could signal the Bulls are still not seeing what they need to see as Lonzo Ball recovers from his injury. The second is kind of neat. Reportedly, Nikola Vucevic, fresh off of not buying a house in Utah, played a big part in recruiting Dragic to Chicago.
Where Things Stand
The Bulls roster now stands at 15 contracts. Remember, they only had the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception to work with in free agency, and that netted them two veterans who stand to contribute off the bench in Drummond and Dragic. Because LaVine and DJJ had bird rights, their contracts didn’t factor into that MLE. With Dragic’s $2.9 million deal, Chicago theoretically still has $4.3 million left to play with. However, in hilariously-frustrating Jerry Reinsdorf fashion, signing Dragic leaves the Bulls with just about $600,000 before entering the luxury tax. Barring the unexpected, Reinsdorf will avoid paying the tax again, which—you know—makes sense.
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