When the Chicago Bulls originally traded for Nikola Vucevic, it was seen as a win-now move designed to boost the franchise’s chances of making an impact in the post-season.

However, despite an enormous roster overhaul, that saw Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, and Alex Caruso headline as new recruits, Chicago’s season was derailed by injuries and defensive lapses. Suddenly, a team that promised so much to start the 2021-22 NBA season is already looking like it needs a makeover, and Vucevic’s declining impact is a part of the problem.

According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, who was appearing on a September 9 episode of Brian Windhorst’s Hoops Collective, Chicago made a serious mistake in trading away Wendell Carter Jr, as he is close to surpassing Vucevic in both talent and production.

“Wendell Carter is already better than Nikola Vucevic, so it’s pretty much a disaster across the board…At minimum you want to say they’re the same level player, Vucevic is going this way (down) and Wendell is going this way (up), and Wendell is on a much better contract. Beyond that, at the time of the trade Tim MacMahon was down on it, I was lukewarm on it, but MacMahon hit this one out of the park because this has been a disaster for the Bulls.

Not only did they give up Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr, who together are clearly better than Vucevic at this point. They also gave up another top-four protected pick in 2023, this upcoming draft, which is a loaded class,” Bontemps said.

Unfortunately, when trading away young talent and draft picks for a veteran, you always run the risk of seeing the veteran start to decline while the younger talent improves, but if you contend or win a championship, you can rationalize the means to the end. Yet, Chicago looks miles away from contending for a ring, and so, the development of Wagner and Carter Jr is going to continue to sting moving forward.

Vucevic Can Still Prove Good Value

Whenever you rapidly rebuild a team, there will always be teething issues, as all of the new talents is figuring out where they sit in the pecking order. For Nikola Vucevic, his new role as the Bulls’ third option is somewhat of a poisoned chalice, as he’s no longer a primary focus for the offense, but …read more

Source:: Heavy.com

      

Tim Bontemps Slams ‘Disaster’ Bulls Trade for Nikola Vucevic

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