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NBA trade grades: Bulls get younger by landing Noah Vonleh from the Trail Blazers

Sometimes it’s hard to find a match when it comes to making a trade in the NBA. Other times, it’s as simple as what the Trail Blazers and Bulls agreed upon Thursday. Portland was in need of some salary relief and Chicago was looking to get younger as part of its rebuild. Just hours before the trade deadline buzzer, the Bulls acquired big man Noah Vonleh in exchange for the draft rights to Serbian big man Milocan Rakovich. 

Let’s grade the trade:

Chicago Bulls (Grade: A)

Chicago receives:

The Bulls got a young big man in Noah Vonleh. He isn’t going to change their fortunes or lead them on a win streak, but he’s a former top 10 pick and only 22 years old. There’s still plenty of potential in Vonleh to get better and be someone the Bulls can rely on. For now, he’ll provide depth and grow on a young building team.

The best part of this deal for the Bulls is they gave up absolutely nothing in the process. They get to take a flyer on a young big man for free. Very good deal for Chicago.

Portland Trail Blazers (Grade: B-)

Portland receives:

  • Rights to Milocan Rakovich

It’s OK if you thought this was a made-up name, but it’s not. Milovan Rakovich is the 60th overall pick from the 2007 NBA Draft. He’s spent his entire career in Europe and at 32 years old, he is probably not coming over to the league anytime soon. By making this move, the Blazers received cap relief to get under the luxury tax. 

This is a smart move by Portland. They didn’t need Vonleh, and they certainly aren’t a team that should be paying the luxury tax, so passing him off to save some money will be beneficial to them.

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