Boston Celtics 'pissed' Bulls released Goran Dragic


On Feb. 28, the Chicago Bulls waived point guard Goran Dragić to give him the flexibility to sign with a playoff team, since his participation in the Bulls' lineup was dwindling. 

The decision for Dragić's release was mutual between him and the Bulls, sources told NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson. When the Bulls signed Patrick Beverley, the decision to release Dragić became more imminent. 

MORE: Bulls waive Goran Dragić, create roster spot

Nevertheless, Dragić's release and eventual signing to the Milwaukee Bucks infuriated another heavy hitter in the Eastern Conference – the Boston Celtics. 

“They’re one of the teams pissed that the [Chicago] Bulls let Goran Dragic go because now, with Jae Crowder, the Bucks just have all this depth at every spot,” an Eastern Conference executive told Sean Devensy of Heavy Sports. “If you go back to the Christmas game, the Celtics have always felt good about what they can do against Milwaukee. But now, Milwaukee has this extra layer of flexibility they can throw at the Celtics, a guy who can surprise you and play 20 or 25 minutes and help you win a game.”

While his numbers don't exactly show it, Dragić has the rare ability to affect a team's offensive play off the bench. He's a 3-point threat and a fantastic facilitator. His basketball IQ is high, leading to significant interest in his services in the buyout market. 


Besides the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks were interested in Dragić.

In 51 games with the Bulls this season, he averaged 6.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game. He averaged 15.4 minutes per game over those games. Over 36 minutes, his averages bump to 14.9 points, 6.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds per contest. 

Dragić is also a seasoned veteran in the playoffs, having played in 60 playoff games throughout his career. Last postseason, he averaged 20 minutes per game with the Nets in their first and only playoff series, notching 10.5 points per game, too. 

Same with the Miami Heat in 2021, he had a similar effect. Instead, he played more. He averaged nearly 30 minutes per game against the Bucks in the premier playoff series, scoring 16 points per game.

Dragić's playoff experience and versatility add another wrinkle to an already dominant Milwaukee Bucks' offense. That's why the Boston Celtics and the Eastern Conference are concerned. 

“Boston is a lot more predictable,” the exec said. “They’re not going to play Luke Kornet for 20 minutes in a playoff game. But Dragic, he could be a game-changer at some point in the playoffs.”

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