Bulls to sign veteran point guard Goran Dragic – NBC Chicago

Bulls to sign veteran point guard Goran Dragic originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

A pattern formed in the Chicago Bulls’ free agency plans after retaining Zach LaVine. Targeted veterans.

After receiving a verbal commitment from center Andre Drummond and targeting Boston Celtics-bound Danilo Gallinari, a league source confirmed the Bulls agreed to terms with point guard Goran Dragic on Sunday. The deal is for one year and $2.9 million, a source said.

There are myriad ways to look at the signing of Dragic, 36, who played 21 games with the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets last season, his 14th.

The veteran can definitely improve the Bulls’ shooting, which management has said is an offseason priority. He is a 36.2 percent career 3-point shooter on 3.4 attempts in 888 career NBA games and has connected 46 percent overall from the field.

When healthy, Dragic is a proven scorer in a starting or reserve role, the latter of which he will play for the Bulls unless he serves as an emergency starter for Lonzo Ball. Dragic is a career scoring 13.7 points per game in 27.9 minutes, while also averaging 4.8 assists.

But the move certainly calls into question management’s confidence in Ball’s long-term ability to stay healthy, while doing nothing to calm a potential Coby White trade at some point.

The Bulls’ roster is loaded with guards. And while management rejected White’s pre-draft offers while sticking to their asking price of a young player and a draft pick, Dragic’s arrival could make White expendable in the right place again. They play similar roles.

It won’t be now, as it’s expected to be the roster that will be carried to training camp.

Dragic’s arrival will be a boon for White and Ayo Dosunmu, who can learn a lot from the veteran. He is known as a consummate professional and a teammate which is why his close friend Nikola Vucevic played such an important role in Dragic’s signing. The two share a rep in Bill Duffy.

As for Ball, general manager Marc Eversley deferred on draft night when asked directly if Ball, who has been sidelined since January, could play if the season continues now. While Eversley said Ball, who underwent meniscus surgery in January, is making progress in his rehabilitation from the bone bruise that preceded his surgery, his long-term health remains a question mark.

The Bulls now have 15 contracts after also re-signing forward Derrick Jones Jr. Dragic’s signing also underscores the desire for basic continuity management has embraced since he stood at the trade deadline. . He’s just a solid veteran who can contribute to any role, while playing seamlessly with Vucevic, LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.

And who can forget his longtime connection with the Bulls? Derrick Rose famously took a dip on Dragic in January 2010, prompting broadcaster Stacey King to go nuts over the show and Dragic and Rose to share a laugh over the play over the years.

Now Dragic is a Taurus.

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Lance B. Holton