As explained in a recent article, the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic — two teams at the bottom half of the Eastern Conference — could make some big moves prior to the March 25 trade deadline, including one that would send Magic center Nikola Vucevic to the Bulls in exchange for two key rotation players and some future assets.
On Sunday, NBA Analysis Network, some of the Bulls’ more prominent stars have been mentioned in trade rumors and hypothetical deals in recent weeks, including Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. Meanwhile, Orlando has slipped to 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 10-17 record after squandering a “decent” start to the 2020-21 season. With those things in mind, the outlet recommended a deal that would allow Chicago to keep their top two stars while helping the Magic “retool” their roster.
As recommended, the transaction will send Vucevic and backup big man Khem Birch to the Bulls in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr., a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2023 first-rounder. The publication added that Vucevic’s arrival could help transform the Bulls “immediately” as he teams up with LaVine and Markkanen in the starting lineup and potentially helps the franchise end its playoff drought.
With averages of 24 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, the 30-year-old center can contribute in a number of ways and is also capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor. It was also pointed out that his presence in Chicago would allow the organization to hang on to some of its younger, more promising players, including recent lottery picks Patrick Williams and Coby White.
“The Bulls have plenty of assets they would be able to part ways with but they would hang on to some important ones. With the emergence of Zach LaVine, it’s important to consolidate some of those pieces and bring in a difference-making talent to pair with him.”
According to NBA Analysis Network, it may be “a little more difficult” to explain how the Magic can benefit from the recommended scenario, given how Vucevic is seen as their franchise player. However, the outlet stressed that pulling off such a move would show how confident Orlando is with its supporting cast, which currently includes players such as Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, and Terrence Ross.
Although Carter and Porter aren’t among the top offensive options in Chicago, both of them might be able to “balance the floor” if they get shipped to Orlando. Specifically, Porter could provide some additional three-point shooting and help out on the defensive end, while Carter could take advantage of the additional opportunities he might get as Vucevic’s replacement at the “five” spot.