Chicago Bulls Waive Goran Dragic, Open Up Roster Spot
The Chicago Bulls announced on Tuesday that they have waived Goran Dragic. The point guard was one of just two free-agent additions for the organization this offseason.
According to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, the decision to split up was mutual and will allow Dragic to search for a new role on a contending team. Time for him to contribute in Chicago ran out as the season went on, and the signing of Patrick Beverley all but confirmed that Dragic would remain out of the rotation.
Dragic started the year with a relatively large role in the second unit. The veteran appeared in 33 of the team’s first 35 games, averaging roughly 17.1 minutes per game. He also averaged 8.0 points and 2.8 assists on 39.6 percent shooting from downtown during that stretch.
Then, as the weeks went by, head coach Billy Donovan started to call the veteran’s name less and less. He’s now missed four-straight games and saw his time on the court drop to just 11.1 minutes over his last nine appearances. While it surely wouldn’t hurt to have his veteran IQ in the locker room during a playoff push, the 36-year-old is running out of time to contribute to a true contender. For his sake, I’m hoping he can land on his feet somewhere in the coming days.
The big question now is what will the Bulls do with Dragic’s open roster spot? The buyout market has certainly dwindled in recent weeks, but there are still a couple of well-known names sitting as free agents. The problem for the Bulls, though, is that they remain just $1.2 million away from the luxury tax. They would have to find someone willing to join on a prorated veteran minimum to fill that spot and avoid the tax.
For a team that has fully committed to a playoff push, it would be silly not to try to fill this opening. You never know what injuries might arise, and we all know veteran depth can be crucial when it comes to the postseason.