While there are plenty of negatives about the Bulls, there are a few positives, Nikola Vucevic being one of them.
While it hasn’t led to much playoff success, his efforts have had a positive effect on the regular season.
This situation is much different than what his career was like before.
His Younger Days
Before becoming a Bull, Vucevic spent almost a decade on the Orlando Magic.
As shown on Basketball Reference, he averaged 17.6 points and 10.8 rebounds on 49.9% from the field, 35.3% from 3-point range, and 75.8% from the line.
Although the points and assists didn’t stand out too much, his efficiency does.
For a center, especially during the 2010s, his 3-point range percentage deemed him a stretch 5.
As shown on StatMuse, the average percentage for a center was 33.3%, making his 35.3% above average.
Also, his free-throw percentage was well above average.
As shown, the average free throw percentage for a Center was 68.3%, 7.5% less than Vucevic’s percentage.
In addition, his rebounding also stood out.
As shown on StatMuse, from the 2009-10 season to the 2018-19 season, Centers averaged 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 rebounds less than Vucevic’s average.
Essentially, Vucevic was mainly an above average player that could have a great game every now and then.
Some seasons, he was even an all-star.
However, his efforts didn’t lead to much team success.
Out of all the seasons he spent there, their most successful season was the 2018-19 season.
As shown on Hispanosnba.com, the Magic recorded a record of 42-40 and bounced out in 5 by the Toronto Raptors.
After constant years with lack of success, the Magic decided to move on from Vucevic.
A New Start
On March 25, 2021, Vucevic was traded to the Bulls.
Therefore, the Bulls took on Vucevic’s four-year $100,000,000 contract.
As shown on NBA.com, the trade details were as follows:
-the Magic receive Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter, a 2021 first round pick, and a 2023 first round pick
-the Bulls receive Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu
Since then, Vucevic has been a Bull for 3 seasons.
As shown on Basketball Reference, he averaged 18.2 points and 11.1 rebounds on 49.2% from the field, 34.2% from 3-point range, and 81.2% from the line.
In comparison to his Magic years, Vucevic’s points, rebounds, and efficiency either remain constant or slightly improved.
So why is Vucevic such a pivotal now? Well, his efforts are leading to more wins…kinda.
Over the course of those three seasons, the most successful season was the 2021-22 season with a record of 46-36.
Unfortunately, they would late lose to the Bucks in the first round.
Therefore, within 2 seasons as Bull, Vucevic experienced slightly more regular season success than his days with the Magic.
That leaves the possibly for more success in the future.
From Vucevic’s standpoint, it may seem like he’s gradually getting more success as his career continues.
Of course, to continue that progress, the Bulls will need to make some changes.
Likely, with Vucevic’s play, they likely won’t trade for more rebounding and scoring.
Hopefully, in the future, Vucevic will continue to be a pivotal part of this Bulls team and play a significant part in making a playoff/Finals run.
Stay tuned for more NBA content, including midseason moves, contract updates, and more pieces about every team.
Featured image courtesy of Peter Dewey-ahnfiredigital.com
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