30 NBA players that got better after leaving their first team

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Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

30 NBA players who got better after leaving their first team: 17. Nikola Vucevic

As the 16th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Nikola Vucevic played just 51 games for the Philadelphia 76ers. It was a lockout-shortened season and he played just 15.9 minutes per game for a team that made the playoffs as the eighth seed. The Sixers pulled off an upset because Derrick Rose tore his ACL in the middle of the series.

During the summer, following a four-team trade that rocked the NBA, Dwight Howard went to the Los Angeles Lakers. Andre Iguodala was spun to the Denver Nuggets. Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson joined the Sixers. This left the Orlando Magic with a package of players in return for their MVP-caliber center, including Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and Nikola Vucevic, among others.

Vucevic immediately moved into the starting lineup and has since averaged a double in seven of his nine years with the team, including this current season. He is a two-time All-Star and is currently having the best season of his career. Vucevic is averaging 24.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steal with shooting splits of .483/.407/.832.

The Orlando Magic were not a great team with Vucevic as their best player, but they did make the postseason the two seasons prior to this one and he has always been solid. At the trade deadline this season, Vucevic was moved to the Chicago Bulls in one of the bigger deals of the years. This will be the first time in his career that Vucevic will be playing with another All-Star, the next player on this list.