The Chicago Bulls have been locked in rebuild mode for years now. But on Thursday morning, the struggling franchise finally added an All-Star piece to their developing roster.
In addition to Vucevic, Chicago will receive veteran forward Al-Farouq Aminu in exchange for Otto Porter, Wendell Carter Jr and two first-round picks. ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on Twitter.
Here's the deal: The Bulls land Nikola Vucevic and Al Farouq Aminu for Otto Porter, Wendell Carter Jr., and two first-round picks. Huge addition for Chicago, who remains in pursuit of Lonzo Ball. The Magic are moving toward a rebuild now with Aaron Gordon deal on deck.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
For years, Vucevic has been a bright spot on an otherwise disappointing Orlando squad.
In 2020-21, the 10th-year NBA veteran is averaging 24.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. With those figures, the two-time All Star is one of just four players in the league right now averaging 24 and 10, joining the likes of Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid (per ESPN stats and info).
The pairing of Vucevic with a rising star in Zach LaVine and a slew of young talent should yield some immediate improvement. But, reports indicate that the franchise isn’t done yet.
According to NBC Sports Chicago, the Bulls are still laying the groundwork to trade for future unsigned free agent Lonzo Ball. With those two first-round picks gone, the team’s next available draft pick to use as trade fodder comes in 2025. That being said, a player-for-player trade between Ball and Lauri Markkanen has been rumored for quite some time now.
Fans from across the NBA world took to Twitter to react to the implications of this blockbuster trade.
Remember that time Nikola Vucevic dropped a career-high 43 points against the Bulls?
YEAH, WE NEVER THOUGHT WE'D SHOW THIS VIDEO EITHER pic.twitter.com/vtTJuK4fjx
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) March 25, 2021
I love this for the Bulls. Nikola Vucevic can give them today what they hoped Wendell Carter someday would as a perimeter playmaking hub. Zach LaVine will get even better with Vucevic as his partner in pick-and-roll and handoff actions. LaVine-Vucevic will be a potent duo. https://t.co/9MQ6Dzj0uu
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) March 25, 2021
If you don't love this trade, you're kidding yourself.
Vucevic is a 2x All-Star in the best season of his career. Also at only 30, he is owed just 24/22mil over the next two seasons.
Stats: 24ppg (48.0 FG%, 40.6 3PT%), 11.8reb, 3.8ast
Pairing that with LaVine? My goodness.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 25, 2021
The Bulls may not be done yet…
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) March 25, 2021
Nikola Vucevic can finally live his dream of being eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dieter) March 25, 2021
Aaron Gordon watching Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier get traded pic.twitter.com/hengIJi1Cg
— Sky Sports NBA (@SkySportsNBA) March 25, 2021
— Chad Mateja (@cmat03) March 25, 2021
The Bulls currently hold a 19-24 record and the No. 10 spot in the Eastern Conference. How much will this trade improve their playoff hopes?