In his first full season with the Chicago Bulls, Nikola Vucevic was a huge part of the team's success but also a factor in their downfall. While certain team circumstances were out of his control, Vucevic became a hot topic of debate due to his individual skill set and spells of poor play. Without further ado, let's review his 2021-22 campaign and hand out a final grade for the Bulls' big man.
The center was highly lethal on the offensive end, averaging 17.6 PPG, 11.0 RPG, and 3.2 APG. Vucevic finished the campaign with 44 double-doubles, which was good for seventh-most in the NBA.
However, the 2021-22 season was a down year for the big man compared to past production levels. Vucevic's 17.6 PPG average was a drop-off from his 23.4 mark in 2020-21. On top of that, his three-point percentage decreased drastically from 40% to 31.4%. Vucevic also saw a dip from 84% to 76% in free-throw percentage.
On the defensive end, it was a mess. Vucevic's lack of shot-blocking and lateral quickness made him a defensive liability for the Chicago Bulls. On the season, he averaged 9.1 DRB, 1 STL, and 1 BLK.
Vucevic seemingly showed up only when the opposing team lacked a big man down low. As a result, opposing centers averaged 19.1 points per game against the Bulls.
To his credit, the Bulls struggled as a unit on the defensive end, especially around the perimeter. And for that reason, Nikola Vucevic receives a C.