Nikola Vucevic is coming into the 2022-23 season looking to redeem himself.
The Chicago Bulls big man had a disappointing campaign in 2021-22, averaging 17.6 points (lowest since 2017-18), 11.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.
Now, for most starting centers in the league, they'd take those averages any day of the week. But for Vucevic, his inefficiency around the basket and being a liability on the defensive end hindered Chicago's ceiling.
Despite trade rumors swirling this offseason and going back to last season's trade deadline, Vooch is looking forward and putting last season in the past..
"It doesn't weigh on me at all," Vucevic said. "It's not my first contract so I've been in the NBA for 12 years. I've established a very good life for even post-career so I don't think about that too much."
The Bulls were rumored to be interested in three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert prior to him being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Following the trade buzz dying down, the Bulls and their big man were said to potentially have extension talks come training camp.
Regardless of playing on an expiring contract or a new deal, the 12-year veteran knows his value.
"It doesn't effect me that it's my contract year or anything like that…people know my value, what I bring to the table, and what I can do. I have motivation to play well and help this team play even better than last year," Vucevic said. "Just do my job, focus on what I can control, and see how things go."
Proposed trade sends Alec Burks to Bulls for Coby White, Javonte Green
Story originally appeared on Lonzo Wire