With the NBA trade deadline right around the corner, now is the time when front offices take a look at their teams and assess what’s working and what’s not. With so many teams currently in the playoff picture and only a few teams expected to be sellers, competition for landing an impact player could be tougher than in years past.
That could lead to some teams overpaying to acquire players, thus leading to bad trades. There are bound to be at least a few lopsided trades ahead of the February 9th trade deadline; there always are. With that being said, let’s revisit five recent terrible trades ahead of the deadline.
The Nikola Vucevic Trade
Former Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic put up big numbers during his time with the team, leading to a big haul when they finally decided to trade him and rebuild. The Chicago Bulls took the bait and probably regret doing so.
While Vucevic has continued to be productive in Chicago, the Magic are still reaping the benefits of the trade three years later. Wendall Carter Jr. is averaging a solid 15.2 points and 8.6 rebounds as the team’s starting five, while one of the picks received in the deal, Franz Wagner, has broken out.
Wagner has emerged as the team’s second-best player behind 2022’s number-one overall pick Paolo Banchero, averaging 19.9 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Additionally, the Bulls still owe a top-four protected pick this year, and with their team underperforming, they would currently be giving up the seven pick.
Worse yet, Vucevic could leave for nothing in free agency this summer unless the Bulls overpay to retain him. Doing so would probably be an equally bad idea, but losing him for nothing makes this already bad trade look worse, and they’d have no way of adequately replacing him. More tough decisions lie ahead for the Bulls as a result of this clunker of a deal.