Will Nikola Vucevic Look to Return to Orlando This Offseason?

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Nikola Vucevic Sure Sounds Like He’d Fancy a Return to Orlando (And He’ll be a Free Agent This Offseason)

Chicago Bulls

Only three other players have worn an Orlando Magic jersey more than Nikola Vucevic. Third in points, second in rebounds, and first in made field goals, the big man is already forever cemented in Magic history. But he may not be done yet.

In a recent interview with Magic-centric podcast The Sixth Man Show, Vucevic was asked whether he’d consider returning to the place he spent just under nine NBA seasons. His response was as honest as they come.

“Of course. Yeah,” Vucevic said. “I mean, that’s something I would love to do at some point. We’ll see when that is possible and if that’s realistic and how it all works out. But, for sure. If anything, I would like to get one last year in Orlando. I think it’s only right it happens … I feel like I have a lot of basketball left, so who knows what will happen. That’s on my mind. I can’t say it’s not.” 

Gasp! Outrage! Drama! Betrayal!

Nah, nah. All things considered, this isn’t particularly shocking. For one, Vucevic says that the decision to get traded to Chicago in the first place was very much mutual. So it’s not like any bridges were burned. And for another, Orlando is where Vucevic became … well … Vucevic.

He spent his formative years as an NBA player in that city, making two All-Star games in that uniform. We all know players build special connections with certain teams. And we also know it can lead to emotional reunions. From Kirk Hinrich coming back for four more years to Luol Deng signing a one-day contract to Joakim Noah becoming a team ambassador … Bulls fans know what I’m talking about.

The reason this feels at least somewhat noteworthy right now, however, is because Vucevic will hit unrestricted free agency this summer. While it’s very hard to imagine that he seeks out joining a rebuilding Magic team, what if they see him as a veteran asset who can help them take the next competitive step?

Again, I don’t actually see this happening right now, but Vucevic makes it pretty clear that he isn’t opposed to rejoining the team in the future. And, technically speaking, he has his first chance to do that in the coming months.

Could you imagine if that actually happened, though? From a Bulls’ perspective, what a colossal failure that trade would turn out to be. There is no question it already looks pretty rough, but picture watching him back in Orlando with an improved Wendell Carter Jr., Franz Wagner, and whichever rookie they draft this summer. It would be like the Bulls gave up all that for almost nothing!

Anyway, I should stop venturing into a dark place. If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about Vucevic, give the full interview a watch below. A lot of it is about his time in Orlando, but he does say his fair share of positive things about playing in Chicago!

Author: Elias Schuster

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