Bulls acquire Nikola Vučević for Carter, first-round picks


Artūras Karnišovas has made his splash.

The Bulls are acquiring All-Star center Nikola Vučević and Al-Farouq Aminu from the Orlando Magic for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and two first-round picks, as first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Those picks, Wojnarowski later added, will come in 2021 and 2023.

In Vučević, the Bulls land a long-awaited running-mate for Zach LaVine. Vučević is averaging 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists, shooting 48 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range in a career-best season. He is in the second season of a four-year, $100 million contract that pays him $24 million in 2021-22 and $22 million in 2022-23.

Carter, meanwhile, underwhelmed in what was billed as a potential breakout third year and was eventually moved to the bench in favor of Thad Young by Billy Donovan seven games ago.

Porter, who is playing the final season of his max contract, struggled with injuries in his time with the Bulls, appearing in just 54 of a possible 136 games after being acquired from the Washington Wizards in February 2019.

But the bottom line: The Bulls have chosen a direction. They're going all in on maximizing their roster and assets around Zach LaVine. And with the report that they're still in on the New Orleans Pelicans' Lonzo Ball, they may not be done yet.

UPDATE: 10:23 a.m. CT: The Athletic's Shams Charania reports the 2021 first-round pick the Bulls are sending is top-four protected. With the Bulls currently 10th in the lottery standings, and poised for a jump in the standings after this addition, expect that pick to convey.

RELATED: Bulls still in on Lonzo Ball after Nikola Vučević move

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