Approximately three hours after trading away Jameer Nelson, the Chicago Bulls completed another deal, this time with the Portland Trail Blazers. Chicago agreed to send the rights to Milocan Rakovic to Portland in exchange for forward Noah Vonleh and cash, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The trade aids the cap-strapped Blazers, as Wojnarowski noted that the trade gets the Blazers under the luxury tax and gives them a $3.5 million trade exception.
For Vonleh, this will be his third team in a little more than three NBA seasons. Selected ninth overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, Vonleh has struggled to find his footing. The 22-year-old has averaged 3.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in his brief career. Vonleh now joins a Bulls team that has no interest in winning games this season, so he should receive ample opportunities to develop into at least a quality rotation player. They have plenty of cap space, so the Bulls had no problem taking a flyer on a young player for a few months.
Cap relief for Portland
Vonleh was making $3.5 million in the last season of his rookie contract and was producing very little for the team. Portland has a lot of questionable contracts on their payroll -- Meyers Leonard, Maurice Harkless, and Evan Turner in particular-- so they decided to move their easiest contract to a team that had the flexibility to take it on. The 32-year-old Rakovic was the final pick of the 2007 draft, selected by the Dallas Mavericks. He has spent his entire career playing overseas and will likely never play on an NBA court.