The Chicago Bulls were, as of the time the NBA indefinitely suspended the 2019-20 season in March, headed for another early exit, with their 22-43 record only good for 11th in the Eastern Conference. With the team boasting a young and promising roster led by top scorer Zach LaVine, a new report suggested that the Bulls could also acquire one of the Eastern Conference’s top centers — Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic — in an offseason trade that could further speed up their rebuilding process.
As explained in a new list of possible trade ideas from Bleacher Report, both the Bulls and the Magic could gain something from a deal that would send Vucevic to Chicago in exchange for small forward Otto Porter Jr. and center Wendell Carter Jr. The outlet noted that Vucevic, despite his slight statistical decline in 2019-20, is still part of a select group of players that was averaging at least 19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and one three-point shot when the NBA went on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Aside from predicting that the Bulls could have a deadly offense with Vucevic joining LaVine, power forward Lauri Markkanen, and first-year guard Coby White, Bleacher Report suggested that this unit could become even more fearsome if Chicago ends up with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft and “scratches the itch on the wing” by selecting Georgia Bulldogs star Anthony Edwards.
Regarding the potential benefits for the Magic if such an offseason transaction pushes forward, Bleacher Report wrote that the deal could give Orlando “better roster balance.” Currently, the team has a significant frontcourt logjam with Jonathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Mohamed Bamba, and Vucevic among those getting quality playing time. Porter’s presence at small forward, as noted, could allow Isaac more “breathing room” to play at his natural power forward spot, though the possibility of Gordon or Aminu also getting traded wasn’t completely ruled out.
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Although Carter plays the same position as Bamba, who was picked one spot ahead of him at No. 6 in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bleacher Report suggested that his theoretical move to the Magic could give the team “two cracks” at developing a new franchise center to replace Vucevic.
“They are different enough that they could each add something unique to this team, and if one pulls clearly ahead, the other could either be fit into a low-minute reserve role or be moved to the trading block,” the outlet added.
Apart from Vucevic, another top-tier center was recently mentioned as a potential trade target for the Bulls in the 2020 offseason. As reported by The Inquisitr in April, one trade idea had Chicago acquiring former Defensive Player of the Year winner Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz for a trade package featuring Porter, Markkanen, and a future first-round draft pick.