Nikola Vucevic at one point was considered just an add-on to the Dwight Howard deal a few years back. I think it’s easy to say a few years later, Vucevic became a big piece added to the Orlando Magic. But his time in Orlando might be coming to an end.
During his four and a quarter seasons with the Magic so far, Vucevic has averaged 15.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. He has been the team’s starting center until the other night when Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel decided to have the former USC Trojan come off the bench and have Bismack Biyombo take his spot.
“Obviously, I wasn’t happy with the decision they made,” Vucevic said when asked about the move.
“I didn’t think there was a reason for me to go to the bench. But it’s Coach’s decision. All I can do is control what I can control, which is when I’m on the court [to] play to the best of my ability and help the team and stay professional. Whatever is going on, I will keep giving my best and my full effort.”
From the looks of it, Vucevic will continue to be the team’s first big off the bench. If this becomes a problem, I can see the Magic looking to unload the center by the trade deadline. With that being said, I made a list of a few teams that I think Nikola Vucevic would work well with. Keep in mind that these are just my thoughts as no reports have surfaced yet on whether the team will actually trade him.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have been a disaster this season minus the play of Anthony Davis. Can you imagine the front court of Davis and Vucevic? Right now their starting center is Omer Asik, which after three seasons with the team, it is safe to say that he is not the answer. Davis and Vucevic are solid rebounders and if they teamed up together they might have one of the more underrated front courts in the NBA.
Portland Trail Blazers
Portland to me seems like the best choice for Vucevic. Right now the team has a heavy big rotation with Mason Plumlee, Meyers Leonard, Festus Ezeli, Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh. Looking at this list of bigs, no one has really stepped up to be the regular starting center. I feel like Vucevic could solve the team’s problem as his skill set would be an immediate upgrade at the five. In the recent Society Slam podcast, Alec Walt and myself discussed the fact that Portland is missing that key center in their lineup they can rely on and Vucevic could be the answer.
Washington has been a disappointment so far this season. The need help on defense and it is starting to be clear that Marcin Gortat’s days might be over. Vucevic can be a nice addition to the starting lineup and might be able to help John Wall take the Wizards to be more competitive in the Eastern Conference
Yes they have a lot of bigs, and yes all the bigs they have right now currently have big contracts, but if they can find the right deal (or possibly add a third team) Vucevic could help this team. A starting lineup with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Nikola Vucevic would provide nice size down low and help the team on the defensive end.
Again these are just my thoughts on where he might go if he ends up on the Magic trading block. Nikola Vucevic has been a consistent double-double machine for the Orlando Magic and from the looks of it, he might eventually be on the trading block. We might have to wait until the trade deadline or the offseason to see what the Magic end up doing with him, but this is an interesting case to watch for as the season progresses and as other teams need help to make playoff pushes.