The Chicago Bulls acquired Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline this past year in hopes of making a late-season playoff run.
Although the team did an admirable job recovering from a slow start to their 2020-21 campaign, ultimately they fell short of a postseason berth.
After his squad was officially eliminated from playoff contention heading into the final day of the regular season, Vucevic opened up about his team’s failures this year.
“There were definitely things we could have done better,” he said regarding his team’s failed playoff bid, as noted by Jamal Collier of the Chicago Tribune.
“When you make a trade midseason a lot of things change and sometimes it takes more time, and unfortunately we didn’t have that. It is disappointing we didn’t achieve our goal, so we have to be realistic and say we failed at that. But the only thing we can do is move forward and hopefully use that as motivation going into next year.”
Context is key to understanding the two halves of the Bulls’ season. Chicago sat 10th in the East when the Vucevic trade was first made, which didn’t offer them much wiggle room post-acquisition to experiment.
That’s one way to do it. https://t.co/FPdnapbQPX
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 10, 2021
Making matters even more complicated, team star Zach LaVine was forced to miss 11 straight games from late April to early May due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
While the year didn’t end quite the way Bulls fans would have hoped for, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The franchise is rumored to be a serious player for at least one major superstar this offseason, and if it works out, they’ll have a big three that’s as formidable as any other in the NBA.