Bulls Notes: Vucevic, Roster, Drummond, White

Bulls center Nikola Vucevic was fined $15K by the NBA for making an “obscene gesture” during the first quarter of the team’s Wednesday loss to New Orleans, the league announced today (via Twitter). After being whistled for a traveling violation, Vucevic briefly flipped a middle finger in the direction of the stands (video link).

“I figured I would (get fined). It was just in the moment,” Vucevic said on Friday, per Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. “I got called for a travel. I heard somebody in the stands say something. It wasn’t really towards anybody. It was just frustration.

“Obviously not my proudest moment. I wish I hadn’t done it. But I knew as soon as I did it, there was a good chance somebody caught it. Obviously, I have to do better and make sure I don’t do that again. Just not a great moment. I apologize to the fans and everybody for it. I’ll learn from it.”

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • Vucevic is in a contract year and knows he’s unlikely to receive an extension this season, telling K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago that “the front office kind of wants to see how everything goes this season before they make decisions.” The uncertainty might’ve stressed Vucevic out a few years ago, but now that his career earnings are in the nine figures, he’s not worrying about his next contract. “Obviously, when you have an extension, you have security. But one good thing about not having one is you still have options to do what you feel like is best for you and your family,” he said. “I’m not in a position where it’s like a pressing thing for me, where my whole life depends on it. I don’t have to worry about when I get my next contract, how big it’s going to be. I’ve set myself up for a nice life, post-career. That’s why I have more peace of mind now than maybe I had the first time when I was heading into (unrestricted free agency).”
  • According to Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com, some people around the NBA were surprised that the Bulls didn’t make any significant moves to try to upgrade their rotation in the offseason. Head coach Billy Donovan explained that injuries last season to Lonzo Ball and Patrick Williams, among others, meant the Bulls never got a good look at their full roster. “I really felt after sitting down and talking to the front office that the hard part was we never saw our team really whole together for a long period of time,” Donovan told Bulpett. “I think the feeling was, you know what, like, hopefully we can get healthy and we can see what this group looks like.”
  • Andre Drummond‘s injured shoulder responded well after he returned to action on Wednesday and he should be good moving forward, tweets Schaefer. As for Coby White, he’s still dealing with swelling and a limited range of motion in his injured quad. White has made progress, but isn’t practicing yet, according to Donovan.
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