The Chicago Bulls will now have two players to watch in next month’s 2022 EuroBasket.
The recently-signed Goran Dragic announced Friday that he will suit up for Slovenia in the upcoming tournament. Dragic, who was on the preliminary roster sheet, had yet to make up his mind on whether or not he would return to help lead the team alongside superstar Luka Doncic.
Marko Simonovic of Montenegro is the other Bulls player expected to participate with his home country.
The news is certainly significant for Slovenia, who happen to be the reigning EuroBasket champions. The last tournament took place in 2017, where Dragic was named the MVP after averaging 22.7 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game.
His 35 points in the championship game with 7 rebounds and 3 assists took down Bogdan Bogdanovic’s Serbia team to give Slovenia its first-ever title.
Repeating as champions this season will be a lot easier said than done. As great as Dragic and Doncic have been on the national stage, a handful of big-name NBA talent is expected to take the floor this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Nikola Jokic (Serbia), and Rudy Gobert (France) are all in line to suit up, so quite the competitive tournament rests ahead.
I’m sure excited to tune in to get a closer look at how much the Bulls’ new veteran point guard has left in the tank. With that said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also slightly concerned about the miles Dragic will add to his body before the season starts.
The last thing the Bulls want after last season is more injury trouble, especially since early signs have indicated that Dragic expects to play a decently-sized role for the team. Already a 36-year-old who played minimal minutes last season, I have some real concerns about his ability to stay healthy this season, and his EuroBasket participation only adds to that. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!