CHICAGO – In many ways, the Bulls hit a bit of a jackpot over a week before the NBA Trade Deadline.
That’s when they were able to acquire a first round pick for the 2018 NBA Draft by trading Nikola Miroitic to the Pelicans. Getting that kind of selection for a rebuilding team is critical and, in many ways, made the trade season a bit of a successful one for John Paxson and Gar Forman.
But just before the deadline the Bulls reportedly struck a pair of deals, one of which brought a return of a young center to Chicago.
That’s Noah Vonleh, who will come to the Bulls from Portland along with cash considerations in exchange for the rights to Milovan Rakovic according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Portland has traded Noah Vonleh and cash to Chicago for the rights to Milocan Rakovic, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2018
The ninth-overall selection by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft after one year at Indiana, Vonleh is averaging 3.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game. He’s played in 33 games this season with 12 starts, which is down from his previous two seasons in Portland after spending his rookie year in Charlotte. In 2015-2016, Vonleh started 56 games but saw that number drop to 41 the next season.
A separate trade was more beneficial for the future than the present as the Bulls acquired center Willie Reed and the right to swap a second-round pick in 2022 in exchange for the recently acquired Jameer Nelson. Reed, who was suspended six games this past week due to a domestic violence incident involving his wife, was immediately released.