The Bulls are sending the Magic 2021 and 2023 first-round picks in the deal, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
This blockbuster trade sent shockwaves through social media on the morning of the trade deadline. Let’s take a look at the details of this trade and see who benefitted more from it.
Orlando Magic Trade Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls: Grades
Chicago Bulls Getting Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu
In this deal, the Bulls got an All-Star center in Vucevic and a veteran forward in Aminu. Vucevic is the clear-cut best player in this deal and he will be paired up with All-Star guard Zach LaVine who is having a career season. With the Bulls currently chasing a playoff spot in the East, getting Vucevic is easily an upgrade for them. The All-Star center averaged a career-high 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists during his 44 games with Orlando this season. He is a skilled big who will improve the spacing for Chicago.
As for Aminu, he is a solid defender who will come off the bench for the Bulls. He has only appeared in 17 games this season as he was recovering from a torn meniscus that he suffered before this season.
Right now, Chicago is not done with making deals as they are pursuing a deal to get Lonzo Ball and looking to move Lauri Markkanen. The Bulls are lacking a true floor general with their current roster. As a result, they lead the league in turnovers as they cough the ball up 16 times per contest. The Bulls have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs this season and they are making the right moves to make it happen.
Orlando Magic Getting Otto Porter, Wendell Carter Jr., and Two First-Round Picks (2021 and 2023)
With this trade, the Magic have made it clear that they are blowing up their current roster to rebuild. Orlando will receive Porter, Carter Jr., and two first-round picks in this blockbuster trade. Porter will likely be a primary scoring option for the Magic with Evan Fournier and potentially Aaron Gordon out of the picture. During the regular season, Porter is averaging 9.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and two assists across 22 minutes per game. Those numbers should go up as he will get more playing time in Orlando.
Carter has been pretty inconsistent during his first three NBA seasons. Time will tell if this change of scenery will help him thrive. He averaged 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest with the Bulls this season. The third-year center has also missed considerable time with injuries as well. In his role with Orlando, Carter Jr. will likely split playing time with Mohamed Bamba and Khem Birch.
After being stuck in mediocrity for the last couple of seasons, the Magic’s first step in rebuilding is off to a shaky start. While Orlando was able to get two first-round picks out of this deal, they have not exactly been good at finding gems in the NBA Draft in the past. However, rebuilding is the right direction for Orlando to take given their current circumstances.
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