How Nikola Vucevic’s Trade to the Chicago Bulls Impacts NBA Title Odds
Fernando Medina/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Vucevic
The 2021 NBA trade deadline is heating up! We’re tracking every move on deadline day, including how futures odds could be impacted with Nikola Vucevic reportedly on his way out of Orlando.
According to multiple reports, the Chicago Bulls are acquiring Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and two first-round picks. The Bulls also received Al-Farouq Aminu in the deal.
Bulls get – Nikola Vucevic, Al-Farouq Aminu
Magic get – Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter, two 1st round picks
— FantasyLabs NBA (@FantasyLabsNBA) March 25, 2021
Vucevic to the Bulls Analysis
Chicago realized that it had a timeline problem. Zach LaVine has played at an All-NBA level this season. That is not an exaggeration. He’s putting up simply insane numbers. But the team has struggled, almost entirely because of the play of its young players. By moving Wendell Carter Jr. for Vucevic, they add an offensive behemoth in Vucevic who can hit from range, in the post, and on the roll.
The Bulls were 28th in scoring per possession from the roll man in pick and roll this season, per Synergy Sports. Vucevic immediately makes them a top team in that regard. Defensively, Vucevic is thought of as a liability, but under Frank Vogel and Steve Clifford, he’s improved tremendously. Most notably, he operates almost entirely out of drop coverage in pick and roll, which the Bulls lead the league in use of. (It’s the most widely used regular-season coverage in the league.)
This causes problems in the playoffs when teams need to be more versatile, but the Bulls’ intentions are to get to the playoffs and then they can worry about how to win. Vucevic does that.
Orlando picks up WCJ, who is pretty terrible now in all advanced metrics, but as he seasons and grows will become better, and the picks give the Magic assets for down the line while cutting salary. The Magic finally have a clear direction.
Futures didn’t move much off the news, nor should they, but the Bulls should be a lock to make the postseason after the deal provided they’re healthy, and night to night they should be a much more consistent and less frustrating team to bet against the spread. — Matt Moore
How the Trade Impacts Odds
The Chicago Bulls have moved from +25000 to +15000 on DraftKings after reportedly trading for All-Star Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu on Thursday.