Sports

Bold Bulls’ move highlights busy day

The Knicks and Nets didn’t make any significant additions Thursday, but there were plenty of splashy moves across the league before the NBA trade deadline.

The Orlando Magic were among the busiest teams, moving three former building blocks in separate rebuilding moves. Several contenders also fortified their rosters for the playoff push, while a couple of the most-discussed potential targets stayed put with their current teams.

Here’s a look at the day’s action and the most noteworthy deals:

Biggest trade

Bulls acquire Magic C Nikola Vucevic

Chicago, which began the day in the 10th playoff position in the Eastern Conference, made the boldest move Thursday, obtaining the All-Star center and wing Al-Farouq Aminu for Otto Porter, Wendell Carter Jr. and first-round picks in 2021 and 2023.

The 30-year-old Vucevic is averaging 24.5 points and 11.8 rebounds this season and should provide an inside complement to All-Star guard Zach LaVine.

East contenders get better

Heat acquire Rockets SG Victor Oladipo and Kings PF Nemanja Bjelica

The skidding Rockets don’t have much left to show for trading James Harden to Brooklyn this season, dealing Oladipo to Miami for Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and a draft-pick swap.

victor oladipo warms up for the houston rockets
Victor Oladipo
Getty Images

The Heat, the defending Eastern Conference champions, had dropped four straight ahead of Thursday’s game against Portland to fall to .500 in the tightening East. Oladipo, a two-time All-Star averaging 20.8 points per game this season, provides another scoring option, as does Bjelica, obtained from Sacramento for forwards Moe Harkless and Chris Silva. The Heat also reportedly are the favorites to land Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge once he’s bought out by San Antonio.

76ers acquire Thunder PG George Hill

The East-leading Sixers were among the teams pursuing Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry, but they solidified their backcourt alongside Ben Simmons by acquiring the playoff-tested Hill (127 postseason games) from Oklahoma City in a three-team swap, with the Thunder taking Austin Rivers from the Knicks.

West contenders make moves

Nuggets acquire Magic F Aaron Gordon and Cavaliers C JaVale McGee

The Magic made three significant deals Thursday, also sending Gordon and Gary Clark to Denver for guards Gary Harris and RJ Hampton and a first-round pick. The Nuggets, looking to move up from the No. 5 spot in the West, also added another big man, McGee, from Cleveland for center Isaiah Hartenstein and two future second-round draft picks.

Clippers acquire Hawks PG Rajon Rondo

The Clips were willing to send three-time sixth man award winner Lou Williams to Atlanta to add Rondo, proven point guard help with a championship pedigree, including last year with the Lakers.

Trail Blazers acquire Raptors SG Norman Powell

The Post reported that the Knicks held interest in Powell, who instead was dealt to Portland for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. The 27-year-old Powell is averaging a career-best 19.6 points per game and shooting 43.9 percent from 3-point range.

Other deals

Celtics acquire Magic wing Evan Fournier

The Magic’s third significant deal of the day — acquiring two second-round picks — provides Boston with another capable scorer. Fournier is averaging a career-best 19.7 points on an expiring contract ($17.2 million).

Mavericks acquire Pelicans SG JJ Redick

Both local teams were considered possibilities for the 36-year-old shooter, who ended up in Dallas along with Nicolo Melli for James Johnson, Wes Iwundu and a second-round pick. Redick is shooting 36.4 percent from long distance this season.

Non-deals of note

Lonzo Ball stays with the Pelicans

Ball’s father LaVar didn’t get his public wish for a trade out of New Orleans, but the 23-year-old point guard will be a restricted free agent this summer for the Knicks or other interested teams.

Kyle Lowry stays with the Raptors

The six-time All-Star point guard reportedly generated interest from several contending teams — including the Lakers, Heat and Sixers. But Toronto was unable to find the right deal regarding the pending unrestricted free agent.


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