That cops reinforce their back bench depth with a new Veteran addition. Chicago will sign the former All-NBA point guard Goran Dragic to a one-year deal, according to Jordan Schultz of the Pull Up Podcast (Twitter link).
Dragic, most recently with the Nets, will make $2.9 million next season, the veteran’s minimum. tweets Shams Charania by The Athletic.
Dragic, who has an All-Star season and an All-NBA season on his resume, played a pivotal role during Heat’s NBA Finals at Orlando’s Bubble campus in 2020. The Slovenian guard’s production collapsed the next season amid injury troubles, and he was eventually dealt out to the Raptors in the sign-and-trade deal that landed Kyle Lowry with the heat in the 2021 off-season.
Last year, Dragic appeared in just five games with Toronto before reaching an agreement to leave the club as he searched for a suitable trade. The 36-year-old was shipped off to Spurs and negotiated a buyout with San Antonio before clinging to the Nets as a free agent.
In 16 games with Brooklyn, including six starts, Dragic averaged 7.3 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 3.2 RPG while hitting .376/.245/.739 splits. Though his assist and rebound counts matched his career averages of 4.8 APG and 3.1 RPG, his scoring efficiency of 25.5 MPG for Brooklyn was a far cry from his 14-year career average of 13.7 PPG at . 460/.362/. 767 shooting.
The addition of Dragic marks Chicago’s fourth free-agent deal this offseason. The team agreed to re-sign All-Star Shooting Guard Zach Lavine to a maximum deal, bringing the deep bank reserve back to the front Derrick Jones Jr.and will add a journeyman reserve center Andre Drummond to boost his rebound.
As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype notes (via twitter) the Bulls are now about $1.7 million under the luxury tax this season thanks to Dragic’s minimum wage deal and are expected to promote 15 players on guaranteed contracts. Gozlan adds that Chicago has about $7 million left over from its middle-level non-taxpayer exemption.
Further changes to the Bulls roster seem to come through trade rather than free agency. Now, to open a roster spot to add another free agent would have to trade a current bull on a guaranteed salary or forgo it. The team also has a $5 million trade exception that expires after July 7th.
If the Bulls make a deal, it could affect their backcourt depth. The team complements a group of guards already included Lonzo ball, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmuand Coby Whitealthough Ball’s health going into next season remains a question mark.
NBC Sports Chicago’s KC Johnson reports that the team expects this current roster to be intact for fall training camp, although he acknowledges the team appears to have a surplus of guards.