This Tuesday, the Chicago management announced that veteran Goran Dragic is being waived to become a free agent in his final years as a basketball player. Now that the Bulls have an extra spot in their roster, they are turning their heads to younger options to rebullid the team after a disappointing campaign so far.
The Slovenian point guard, who was selected an All-Star back in 2018 playing in Miami, was averaging 6.1 points and 2.7 assists in over 15 minutes per match over 51 contests this season. Although his stats are very distant from his performances in later years, he’s maintained a 43% efficiency while attempting from the field, as well as a 35% from behind the arc.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 28, 2023
Before his 15 seasons in the NBA, Dragic played in Spain and his native Slovenia, until he entered the 2008 draft and was picked up by Phoenix in the second round. Three years later he had a quick one-year spell in Houston but quickly returned to his beloved Suns in 2012.
It wasn’t until he put on a Heat jersey that he found his best version, becoming a solid starter and thriving with an average over 20 points per game in the 2016/17 championship, earning his only All-Star participation one year later. That 2018 he registered an average of 17.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
After leaving Florida, he was exchanged in between the Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors until he finally ended up in Chicago last August. Despite being 36-years of age, Dragic still should prove to be a significant suit for any franchise looking out for an experienced guard.
One of his best performances of the season came three months ago against the Charlotte Hornets, as he dropped 16 points, won 3 rebounds and handed out 3 assists. Take a look at his highlights that night in Chicago:
However, it might be the moment the veteran athlete considers a return to his native continent. Just last month, we included the Slovenian in our list of Top 5 NBA players who might be eyeing their returns to Europe after this season, as he’s mentioned it as a possibility in the past.
“I kind of miss the atmosphere of the European arenas,” he mentioned recently in an interview with Greek journalist Christos Tsaltas. “I’ve been playing for 15 years in the NBA and I’m used to it here. Every time I go back to Europe to play things are a bit different because the fans are more… crazy, in a good way. They always support you and bring positive energy.”
Now that Chicago has an extra roster spot, who should they sign?
As the Bulls have had a disappointing tournament so far, they are starting to make the changes they need in their roster to build a more competitive squad. Which begs the question over whom Chicago could sign from the buyout market now that they have an extra roster spot?
No wonder the squad is in desperate need of a center position, as Alex Caruso has been playing as a power foward now. Some interesting players available still are Stanley Johnson, Serge Ibaka, and the latest to be waived in Toronto, the Spanish national team star Juancho Hernangomez, as the Bulls could also look for more depth in a guard player.
We recently made a Top 5 list of the best buyout candidates who still are missing a team after the All-Star break, take a look for more information.