With the uncertain future of Omer Asik and Luol Deng possibly set to miss a large chunk of next season, the Chicago Bulls’ first official free-agent move was to shore up the frontcourt.
The Bulls have signed forward Vladimir Radmanovic, the team announced on Thursday afternoon. Both parties reached agreement on a one-year contract worth the veteran’s minimum, according to multiple reports.
The 31-year-old Radmanovic has averaged 8.2 points over his 11-year NBA career with six teams. He scored 4.5 points per game last season for the Atlanta Hawks, highlighted by a 17-point effort that included five three-pointers against the Bulls in January. Even so, Radmanovic’s shooting has slipped in recent years while his scoring output has been on the steep decline.
The addition of Radmanovic gives the Bulls flexibility in the frontcourt, which could take a hit next season. Asik is expected to officially ink a three-year, $25 million offer sheet with the Houston Rockets within the next day or two, and the Bulls have not given an indication about whether they plan to match it.
After this summer’s Olympics, Deng – who has ditched his protective glove during exhibition action, instead having his injured wrist taped – could very well have surgery to repair the torn ligament in his wrist. Jimmy Butler is currently slated to step into Ronnie Brewer’s role as the backup swingman, although Radmanovic is able to play both forward positions and should fill into Kyle Korver’s reserve sharpshooter spot and provide depth for coach Tom Thibodeau.
In addition to Brewer and Korver, the Bulls have lost guards C.J. Watson and John Lucas III to the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors, respectively. In Lucas’ case, hurdles still must be cleared before his deal becomes official.