Bulls Trade Rumors: Chicago Still Eyeing Lonzo Ball After Nikola Vucevic Deal

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2021

Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) sets up a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat on Sunday, March 14, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls are reportedly still targeting Lonzo Ball via trade after pulling off a blockbuster deal for Nikola Vucevic.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Bulls remain in pursuit of Ball, who has long been a rumored target of the Chicago front office.

The Bulls traded Otto Porter, Wendell Carter Jr. and two first-round picks to Orlando for Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu in the biggest trade of deadline day thus far. 

Vucevic has made two of the last three All-Star teams in the East and should fortify Chicago as a lock in the playoff chase. The versatile big man is averaging 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while knocking down an impressive 40.6 percent of his shots from three-point range. He and Zach LaVine should give the Bulls one of the conference's best offensive foundations.

Ball, an impending restricted free agent, was one of the game's most polarizing players before starting to come into his own in 2020-21. The Pelicans guard is averaging 14.2 points, 5.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting a career-high 38.5 percent from deep. Combining his improvements as a shooter with his already strong defensive presence and basketball IQ, Ball's become one of the more intriguing free agents of this summer.

It's unclear whether Ball is in the Pelicans' long-term plans after they failed to reach agreement on a contract extension with the UCLA product, so it's possible he'll be on the move ahead of the deadline. The Bulls are unlikely to have enough cap maneuverability to sign Ball outright this offseason, making a trade the most obvious avenue to land him.