REPORT: Bulls and Nikola Vucevic Will Have "Initial Discussions" About an Extension at Training Camp

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REPORT: Bulls and Nikola Vucevic Will Have “Initial Discussions” About an Extension at Training Camp

Chicago Bulls

When training camp starts next month, the Chicago Bulls will have some business to attend to.

All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic is headed into the final year of his contract this season. For a while, rumors swirled about whether or not the Bulls would look to use his expiring deal as part of an upgrade at the position. However, with the season quickly approaching and the front office’s commitment to continuity, it has become clear that Vucevic remains a key piece to the puzzle. And it sounds like the Bulls plan to keep it that way.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley, contract extension talks between Vucevic and the Bulls could be had when training camp opens next fall:

News flash: Vucevic is still with the Bulls.

And not only is he still with the Bulls, but a source said both sides want him to stay with the team beyond the last year of his contract this coming season and will have initial discussions on what that might look like when training camp begins in the fall.

Cue the angry tweets!

After a down season for Vucevic, I expect a handful of Bulls fans to express concern over this news. But I wouldn’t. Not only are these simply “initial discussions,” but I don’t think the idea of having these talks should be all that scary.

As frustrated as some were with his performance this season, Vucevic is still considered one of the better starting centers in the Eastern Conference. Not to mention, he continues to possess an offensive skillset that fits extremely well with the way Donovan and this front office prefer to play (whether it be as a floor spacer, passer, or screener). We also have to remember that he was the first major investment for this front office, and one down year likely isn’t going to drastically change how they view his role with the franchise moving forward.

If anything, we should find some solace in knowing the Bulls will walk into these discussions with the upper hand. Vucevic is an aging center coming off a bumpy season, which gives Arturas Karnisovas and Co. a considerable amount of leverage. In other words, I wouldn’t expect them to extend Vucevic for any absurd amount, and I also don’t expect Vucevic to walk into the conversation too hard-headed. While he has the right to play his butt off in a contract year and enter the next offseason as a big-name free agent, he’s currently playing for the best team of his career. Ensuring he stays in that environment could be important to him.

Anyway, I’m sure as training camp nears, we’ll get more information on just how extensive these conversations are supposed to be. The fact of the matter is that both sides were going to sit down at some point to hear each other out. The bigger question has always been whether or not they can find any common ground. We’ll see.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.