All-Star center Nikola Vucevic is headed to the Chicago Bulls in a trade with the Orlando Magic, the teams announced on Thursday. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic were first to report the deal.
The Magic will send Vucevic and forward Al-Farouq Aminu to the Bulls in exchange for center Wendell Carter Jr., forward Otto Porter and two first-round picks (2021 and 2023).
Vucevic has been the Magic’s best player for several seasons, garnering All-Star nods in 2019 and 2021. This season, Vucevic is averaging a career-best 24.5 ppg to go along with 11.8 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.0 spg.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) March 25, 2021
“Anytime you trade a player like Nikola (Vučević), it is a tough decision to make,” Weltman said in a statement. “’Vooch’ will go down as one of the best players to ever wear a Magic uniform and we can’t thank him enough for all the contributions he made to the organization, both on and off the court.”
Vucevic took to social media to thank the Magic for his team with the team, which began with a four-team trade in 2012 that featured Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bynum.
“Orlando has a very special place in my heart and always will!” Vucevic tweeted. “I have met many great people here and have built very special relationships and that’s what I will miss the most.”
— Nikola Vucevic (@NikolaVucevic) March 26, 2021
Carter Jr., the former No. 7 overall pick of the 2018 draft by Chicago, is averaging 10.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 2.2 apg but recently lost his starting job with the Bulls. Porter is a reserve for the Bulls averaging 9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 2.0 apg and is known for his 3-point shooting (40.4% career from 3-point range).
“Wendell (Carter Jr.) is a talented, young player, who is just starting to blossom,” Weltman added. “We are excited not only to add him to our team, but to watch him continue to develop into the player we think he can become. We’re happy to welcome Wendell and Otto (Porter Jr.) to the Magic family.”