Former Bulls First Rounder Still ‘Hurt’ by Trade: Report

Wendell Carter Jr.

Getty Wendell Carter Jr.

Does Wendell Carter Jr. still think about the trade that sent him from the Chicago Bulls to the Orlando Magic at the 2020 NBA trade deadline?

It’s now safe to say the answer to that question is yes, and it seems as if he’s still a little salty about how things ended in Chicago.

I spoke with Brandon Kravitz of 96.9 The Game in Orlando on Heavy presents I’m Just Saying with Brian Mazique, and he confirmed Carter Jr. is still stung by the move.

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Carter Jr. Still ‘Hurt’ by Being Traded Away From Chicago

Kravitz attended the Magic’s September 27 media day and spoke with Carter Jr. directly.

When asked what emotion he detected from Carter Jr. after asking him about the trade, Kravitz had this to say:

I think he was hurt. I think he fell in love with the city and saw himself a top draft pick as a guy that was going to be a cornerstone for the Bulls’ turnaround, and I don’t think he ever thought that anything would deviate from that.

When you think about it, these are young kids with huge egos, that up until that point, no one’s trading you. So many people like in life, like we don’t deal with that. If we get traded to another city, it’s a jarring thing to happen. I think sometimes we forget about the human element of it and he was somebody that loved the city, loved the team and sees bright things in himself.

So to have a team say, ‘yeah, we don’t really need you right now’ I think it was something that initially was hard for him to deal with. It seems like he’s coping with it and just knowing that you know whether it’s dollars and cents contractually, there’s so many things that go into trades. It seems like he’s kind of talked himself into accepting, “Okay, you know this is okay,” but when I said was it jarring, I mean the eyes got wide like yeah, it absolutely was.

Here is a look at the entire segment:

Will the Bulls Miss Carter Jr. This Season?

It’s funny, while Nikola Vucevic is probably an overall better player than Carter Jr. because of his post game and three-point shooting, the Bulls have two very strong offensive players in Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. You could make the argument that Carter Jr’s defense and rim-running might be a more natural fit for what the Bulls need for the upcoming season.

It’s easy to approach this like an NBA 2K game and simply move pieces around arbitrarily. However, this isn’t a video game and there is no guarantee Lonzo Ball or DeRozan is eager to sign with the Bulls if they were only coming to play with Zach LaVine.

No matter, there is no turning back now, and Chicago has to make a playoff run with the talent it has on its roster. Meanwhile, Carter Jr. must do his best to help push the Magic closer to the postseason as well.

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