Grizzlies could be eyeing Bulls’ Vucevic?

Courtesy of FanSided

A notable NBA analyst envisions the Memphis Grizzlies bolstering their roster by snagging Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Vucevic this offseason.

The intriguing trade scenario was brought forth by Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, suggesting a pivotal move for both the Grizzlies and the Bulls.

During his tenure with the Bulls this season, Vucevic took part in 76 matchups, boasting an average of 18.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. His performance included a 48.4% shooting rate from the field, a modest 29.4% from the three-point line, and an impressive 82.2% accuracy from the free-throw line.

With a reputable career including two All-Star appearances, Vucevic is set to earn $20 million in the upcoming season.

Both teams experienced a shortfall this season, missing the playoffs—Chicago with a record of 39-43 and Memphis lagging behind at 27-55.

Bailey pointed out the gap left by Steven Adams in the Grizzlies’ lineup, emphasizing the defensive and rebounding toll it took on Jaren Jackson Jr., who had to adapt to a more versatile role this season. The Grizzlies struggled defensively, not making the top 10 in points allowed per 100 possessions and falling into the bottom 10 for defensive rebounding percentage, with Jackson pulling down only 5.5 rebounds per game.

According to Bailey, Vucevic, while not as formidable in defense and rebounding as Adams, would relieve Jackson from the harsher aspects of inside play, take on tougher defensive roles, and restore Jackson to a more comfortable defensive stance.

Over his career with the Orlando Magic and the Bulls, Vucevic has maintained averages of 17.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. The skilled center will turn 34 in October.

With the anticipated return of key players Ja Morant and Desmond Bane, the Grizzlies are looking to be formidable contenders next season. Bailey’s trade simulation would see a starting lineup for Memphis featuring Morant, Marcus Smart, Bane, Jackson Jr., and Vucevic.

Morant’s limited participation this season, playing only nine games due to a suspension and a shoulder injury requiring surgery, significantly impacted the Grizzlies’ performance. Nevertheless, with him back on the court, Memphis is projected to significantly boost its offensive game next season.

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