The first domino to fall for the Orlando Magic at the 2021 trade deadline was an unexpected one: Nikola Vucevic.
Vooch, the Magic’s two-time All-Star who was expected to remain in Orlando unless a big haul was sent in return, has reportedly been traded to the Chicago Bulls.
While we were all waiting on news on an Aaron Gordon or Evan Fournier Trade, in came a Woj atomic bomb....
Orlando is trading Nikola Vucevic Al-Farouq Aminu to Chicago, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
The Bulls are sending the Magic 2021 and 2023 first-round picks in the deal, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
Vucevic seemed pretty unattainable leading up to the draft and this comes as quite the shock. The return package is not going to sit well with Magic fans as a a loyal All-Star who continues to expand his game and is having the best season of his career is now headed out of town.
Vooch, the engine of the Magic offense, is averaging a career-high 24.5 points and 11.8 rebounds while shooting 48 percent from the field and 40.6 percent in 6.5 threes per game.
Acquired in the Dwight Howard trade in 2012, Vooch went on to become the Magic’s all-time leader in field goals made. Even at 30 years old, he was expected to fit into the Magic’s timeline over the next few seasons.
Instead, the Magic exchange him for Wendell Carter Jr., who is nine years younger than Vooch and has endured three injury-plagued seasons in the league. This season, Carter is averaging 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three on 0.7 attempts per.
Otto Porter is in the final year of a deal that is paying him over $28 million. Doubt he even makes his way to Orlando.
And the 2021 pick the Magic are receiving from the Bulls is somehow top-four protected. With the Bulls making a run at the postseason, that pick easily could fall out of the lottery entirely.
The Magic were able to unload Al-Farouq Aminu, who has been playing well of late but has been a disaster of a signing.
With Vucevic on his way out, that means everyone on the Magic is fair game and this could be a full rebuild/reset for the Orlando Magic.
Updates coming soon....