As we wrap up — but for some potentially big-ticket deals — the NBA season, one of the surprises of the summer remains a guy who won’t be in the league next season, a guy to which the Bulls are rumored to want to give the board. That will be the MVP at EuroLeague 2021 Vasilije Micic, the Serbian keeper of Turkish club Anadolu Efes. After years of teasing his interest in the NBA, Micic finally seems ready to make the big leap, however, as the dust settles this summer, he remains in Europe. Europe again.
At 28 years old, Micic is arguably the best player in the world who isn’t currently in the NBA. He has averaged 18.7 points and 5.8 assists for Efes this season, with 48.4% shooting and 44.1% shooting 3-pointers. He could obviously help some teams next season, but won’t – at least not on this continent.
So what happened? Well, there are several factors.
First, it’s Micic. To give up Efes and join the NBA, Micic wanted a few things – a salary in the range of $6-7 million per year, a starting spot (or at least starting minutes) and a role on the team. compete.
That removed a large part of the NBA’s interest.
“I think there’s been some reluctance to give up what would be your entire mid-level (exception) if you’re the tax team for a guy you’re not sure how he’s a good fit,” the general manager said. NBA director told Heavy Sports. “Most of the good teams, they are the tax team this year. So you’re using your best chance to improve a guy who takes some risks, lots of unknowns. I think the Clippers’ experience with Teodosic (Milos) has helped many teams say: ‘We don’t have much to spend, we can’t make that kind of mistake.’
Teodosic is a smooth, 6-foot-5 passer who also holds the title of “Best-Not-In-NBA. The Clippers changed that in 2017 when they signed Teodosic from CSKA Moscow, after he averaged 16.1 points and 6.8 assists, leading his side to the Round. EuroLeague Finals. Teodosic received a two-year, $12.3 million contract from the Clippers but failed after never finding a role in LA. He was waived a year and a half later, after just 60 games. .
Point Guards Planty in the NBA
Second, lack of Micic.
“This is a really good era in the NBA for point guards,” said GM. “Pretty much everyone has a point guard who is at least the good one, especially if you are a candidate. You always want to improve and add more depth to your game but if you are going to spend a significant amount of money on a slot, that will be your big need and just not many teams need to defend points. “
According to a report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Bulls, Nuggets and Bucks are among the teams interested in Micic. But the Bucks are happy to have Jrue Holiday, George Hill and Jevon Carter as their point defenders, with much of the offense running through Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Nuggets were similarly pleased with Jamaal Murray, Bones Hyland and, after the trade, Ish Smith.
However, Chicago wanted a backup point guard, and was Micic’s best shot to land in the NBA. With Lonzo Ball’s knee still a question mark, there’s a chance Micic could even open the season as a starter. But the Bulls should have made two sacrifices the team didn’t want to make to get Micic on board — giving up the draft option and passing the luxury tax.
Oklahoma City Compensating Micic
Because Oklahoma City owns the rights to Micic, from trading with the Sixers to getting a contract with Al Horford, the Thunder also played a role in Micic’s summer. Any team looking to buy Micic will have to pay Oklahoma City some draft compensation—preferably the first team, though it’s possible the price has been lowered.
“I think it’s a bit overwhelming for the teams,” said a Western Conference executive. “No one wants to give up an option plus everything else it will lose. He can play, I think he will be good in the NBA. But no one wants to spend money picking up trash for him.”
Paying Micic a contract with a starting value of, say, $6.5 million would get Chicago over the tax cap—they’re at close to $2 million now. That’s because they went with a cheaper option than Micic, Slovenian keeper Goran Dragic, who has a $2.9 million minimum salary. Because he’s a veteran, the NBA gets $1.1 million from Dragic’s salary, and in general, signing Dragic has kept the Bulls under tax, meaning the organization will collect on what is expected to be record payouts from teams above the threshold.
There’s no need for a compensation draft and there’s no risk of Teodosic frustration at stake. Dragic is 36 years old and injury prone, but he is a known number and the number of Bulls they can get with Alex Caruso, Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu backing up whenever Dragic is absent.
Micic remains a compelling prospect and he’s clearly eager to try his hand at the NBA. But, at least this year, no NBA team is willing to take the risk of signing him.
https://heavy.com/sports/chicago-bulls/nba-execs-vasilijie-micic-andalou-efes/ Bulls Rumors: What happened to the Vasilije Micic deal?