Bulls make minor moves on deadline day

By: Thomas Gibbons

It’s over.

The NBA trade deadline has passed. The Cavilers took over the entire internet this afternoon, overhauling their entire roster after many reports of locker room problems and on court chemistry. Meanwhile in Chicago, the Bulls did not make a deal for Robin Lopez, Justin Holiday, and Jerian Grant, all who were linked to trade discussions the past few weeks. So what did the Bulls accomplish near the deadline? Let’s break down the moves.

Bulls acquire: C Willie Reed, right to swap 2022 2nd round picks

Pistions acquire: PG Jameer Nelson.

Nelson, who came over in the Nikola Mirotic trade with the Pelicans, is reunited with former coach Stan Van Gundy. There was no signs of Nelson ever stepping foot onto the court for the Bulls given the focus on the young guys.

The Bulls have already announced that Reed will be placed on waivers. Reed is currently serving a six game suspension for a domestic violence incident last summer involving his wife. Overall, the main reason the Bulls got this done was they gained a small trade exception in Nelson and a chance to move up in the second round of 2022 draft.

There always seems to be a second round pick involved in Bulls trades. Wonder how much that pick will sell for in 2022!

Bulls acquire: F Noah Vonleh

Trail Blazers acquire: Rights to Milovan Rakovic

Who? Rakovic’s right were acquired by the Bulls in the 2014 Anthony Randolph deal to the Magic. Rakovic has never played in the NBA. The Trail Blazers get under the luxury tax with this move and a $3.5 million traded player exception.

The Bulls grab a flyer in Noah Vonleh and will have a chance to see if he fits with the team going forward. Vonleh, the 9th overall pick in the 2014 draft, has not panned out as many would have thought. In 210 career games, Vonleh has averaged just 3.9 points per game  and 4.5RPG. Vonleh will be a restricted free agent this summer.

Bulls Vice President John Paxson addressed the media following the 2 p.m. deadline and spoke highly of the young players on the roster, specifically how glad he is how well the Butler draft night trade has turned out.

Paxson also reminded the press that the young players on the roster will play a significant role in the rotation going forward. Paul Zipser, Cristiano Felicio, and Cameron Payne will get playing time down the stretch. The Bulls are currently a game and half out of the worst record in the NBA.

The Bulls did field calls for Lopez and Holiday but Paxson confirmed their veteran leadership with the team is something they value for the young guys on the roster.

Overall, the Bulls did well at the deadline. Gar Forman and Paxson were able to get a first round pick for Nikola Mirotic and that was the main goal of the deadline. They acquired a flyer in Vonleh and continue to put their focus into their young players development.

The Bulls welcome back Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson back to the United Center on Friday. There will be a video tribute in the first quarter.

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