The Chicago Bulls made an intriguing offseason move with the signing of Goran Dragic. It has raised questions about Lonzo Ball’s health and how Billy Donovan will utilize Dragic. But fans likely won’t have to wait for the beginning of the NBA season to start to see the new point guard in action. Team Slovenia released its preliminary player pool for 2022 EuroBasket, and Dragic is among those listed on his home country’s roster.
Dragic has been a household name for Slovenian basketball since his role increased on the national team in 2009. That was the same year he debuted in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns. He has a fairly impressive international resume. Dragic has won Gold at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in Turkey, the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, and the 2017 EuroBasket MVP. As a veteran, he is now passing the reins to a bigger NBA/Slovenia star in Luka Doncic.
Dragic’s Role With The Bulls
While Goran Dragic presumably joined the Bulls as a backup point guard, he may start due to Lonzo Ball’s injury. The situation is similar to what Dragic’s role with Slovenia this summer would entail.
Last year, Ball only played half the season, and a backup point guard was a glaring need for the Bulls. Coby White filled in, but he has proven to be more effective as a scorer off the bench. Dragic will fill the role with a hefty resume. Outside of his international accomplishments, he was a starter for the Suns and an All-Star for the Heat.
In 2022, Dragic did not play for the first four months because he was recovering from a foot injury. When he came back, Brooklyn forced him into an immediate 30 MPG role. That workload proved too large and his stats suffered in the few games he played. Dragic averaged 7.5 PPG on 37.7% shooting and 4.1 APG.
With a normal offseason, expectations are that he will return to his 13.7 PPG on 46% shooting and 4.8 APG norms. Most importantly, Dragic will be able to help in the corner three department, which is a key piece of the Chicago Bulls’ offense. Dragic shoots 35.1% and 42.1% from the right and left corners, respectively. Regardless of Lonzo Ball’s status entering the season, his veteran backup will be a useful threat to spread the floor for DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.
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