The Chicago Bulls have a lot of perimeter firepower that thrives at playing in the paint. To make the most of it, they need a stretch-five and have one in Nikola Vucevic. However, they give up a needed impact in the rim protection department with him. Could they benefit from a trade before the 2022-23 NBA season?
There was a time in NBA history when big men were not expected to shoot threes. Times, as they say, change quickly and drastically. Those that did use to be an exception. Older readers will recall Sam Perkins firing from deep, compounding coaches and fans alike. Slightly younger (but still old) readers may think of Mehmet Okur as one of the first big men they saw launching from range.
Flash forward to 2022, and most big men shoot from distance. Now, it’s not even necessarily enough: bigs are expected to space the floor while also contributing on the defensive end. If they don’t do both, they’ve got to be elite in either.
Nikola Vucevic has never been an elite defender, but until recently, he was one of the best shooting bigs in the league. In 2021-22, he struggled in both areas.
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Now, the Bulls should be considering looking for an upgrade at his position. Kristaps Porzingis spaces the floor, and he’s a solid rim protector simultaneously.
Could the Bulls pry him from the Wizards’ hands?