2. Chicago Bulls get a potential top-10 draft pick
In this potential trade scenario, the Chicago Bulls would retain some value in a sign-and-trade for Nikola Vucevic, who is a free agent this summer. Because Vooch is an unrestricted free agent, he does come with some diminished trade value as the Bulls will have less bargaining power.
However, Vucevic is still a strong asset for a team that wants to contend, and he will likely be paid as such. There have been several forecasts for what the center will be paid this summer, but it is reasonable to estimate that he will be signed to a deal that could reach up to $18-20 million salary annually. With this in mind, the Chicago Bulls have a chance to get a very good three-point shooter in Tim Hardaway Jr., who can fit a strong need the Bulls have as maybe the worst NBA team from long range.
In addition to the value that Hardaway Jr. brings, the Chicago Bulls have a chance to get a potential top-10 pick in this year’s draft. The Dallas Mavericks underperformed this season, and they finished with the 10th-best lottery odds in the 2023 draft. The Bulls could use this pick, especially since they will likely have to give their first-rounder to the Magic for the trade that brought Vucevic to Chicago.
The Chicago Bulls can fit both short and long-term needs in a sign-and-trade for Nikola Vucevic.
With this pick, the Bulls could draft a player like Taylor Hendricks, a power forward out of UCF. The 19-year-old is an excellent 3-and-D player, shooting 39.4% from 3 while averaging 15.1 points and 7 boards. He is also a defender that can easily guard frontcourt players, using his excellent athleticism to be a strong rim protector.
A player like Hendricks is someone that would fit the Chicago Bulls’ needs perfectly, with both rim protection and three-point shooting from a power forward. Hendricks is currently expected to fall toward the end of the lottery, which is likely where the Mavs’ pick will end up. If the Bulls get a chance to sign a special prospect like Hendricks while also getting a solid player in Hardaway, it would definitely be worth exploring a sign-and-trade.