The Chicago Bulls are generally quiet when it comes to the trade deadline. However, when they do make trades, Otto Porter Jr. seems to be a part of them. On Thursday morning, Arturas Karnisovas made his first blockbuster trade as President of Basketball Operations. The Bulls and the Orlando Magic struck a trade sending two-time All-Star C Nikola Vucevic and vet F Al-Farouq Aminu to Chicago for C Wendell Carter Jr., F Otto Porter Jr., and two first-round draft picks (2021 and 2023). It’s an aggressive move for a Chicago team that is 10th in the East. However, it’s a move that sure has good rewards.
Vucevic, 30, gives the Bulls a stable big man who can do it all. This season, Vooch is averaging 24.5 PPG and 11.8 REB. He’s a huge acquisition for Chicago who is trying to maintain a chance at the playoffs. Pairing him with LaVine is going to be a scary duo. Vooch, LaVine, Sato, PWill. and Thad Young gives the Bulls a good mix of youth, vets, and explosion in their starting lineup. The Bulls bench will miss WCJ and OPJ, but Aminu should help mitigate some of that production. He’s averaging 5.5 PPG and 5.4 REB and is a solid defender, something the Bulls could use. This is his sixth team in 11 seasons.
“Chicago’s leadership — Arturas Karnisovas, Marc Eversley and Billy Donovan — wanted to bring on a productive, serious-minded veteran player to be a cornerstone for the Bulls. They get one with Vucevic, who has been a pillar with Orlando.” Chicago got their guy and there could still be more movement with Lauri Markkanen a subject to trade rumors. Could Lonzo Ball be coming too? There could be more to come as the deadline heats up. This was a great move as the Bulls and Billy Donovan try to change the teams culture.
I wanted to take a moment and thank Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. Both were key contributors for the Bulls. WCJ is only 21, and was drafted 7th overall in 2018. He’s averaging 10.9 PPG and 7.8 REB this season. He was injury-prone, but when healthy, provided a towering presence in the paint. After he was shifted to the bench, it seemed Carter was falling out of favor in the rotation. He’s still so young and this is the one part that stings from the trade. So much potential left in WCJ and I’m wishing the best for him in Orlando.
OPJ was acquired a couple of years ago from the Wizards in a trade deadline deal. Like WCJ, Otto battled multiple injuries during his tenure with the Bulls. We never saw him live up to expectations and the 27-year old will get a fresh start in Orlando. He’s averaging 9.9 PPG and 5.5 REB this season.
Thank You, Wendell Carter Jr.
Thank You, Otto Porter Jr.
Trade Grade For Bulls
A-. Solid get and shows the Bulls want to be competitive. They gave up a young talent in WCJ and two first-round picks, but hopefully Vooch and Aminu can help the Bulls take the next step.
Chicago Acquires Wagner and Brown for Hutch and Gafford
In a matter of a couple hours, AK fired up another trade. Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchison are shipped to Washington for Troy Brown and Moritz Wagner. Gafford was a second round pick in 2019 and hasn’t played much for the Bulls this season. He’s averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.3 REB. Same goes for Hutch who has barely played for Chicago since getting drafted back in 2018. Both were never getting much playing time and Hutch was dealing with injuries and personal matters since getting drafted in the first round. This was a great trade of the Bulls got a solid return back.
Wagner, 23, was a first round pick in 2018 out of Michigan. Brown, 21, was also a first round pick in 2018. This kid is good. AK turned Hutchison into Brown who has been effective in his early career. Brown has only appeared in 21 games this season, but will definitely get minutes for the Bulls. Last season, Brown averaged 10.4 PPG and 5.6 REB. If Lauri gets traded, the Bulls found a younger replacement with lots of potential. This was another solid trade by the Bulls brass who are continuing to fire on all cylinders. They are completely rejuvenating this roster that has failed to produce sustained success.
Thank You, Daniel
Thank You, Chandler
Trade Grade For Bulls
A+. The Bulls turned Hutch, who has rarely seen the court into a solid player in Troy Brown. Gafford was good, but Wagner can stretch the floor and gives the Bulls another shooting big man. Great, great trade.