The Bulls have jumped on their second trade of the trade deadline frenzy, adding two bench players to the mix.
Brown and Wagner certainly add aggression off the bench as a commonality to each other’s arsenal. Both of these players work well without the ball, which benefits Donovan’s cutting offense greatly because it needs off-ball players looking to find the ball downhill.
Losing Hutchison is nothing really to cry about, considering he’s only played in seven games for the Bulls this season. Gafford is a tougher loss because his size and power in the paint have benefitted the Bulls a healthy amount this season.
Washington is trading Troy Brown and Mo Wagner to Chicago for Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchinson, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
Wagner, 23, is 6-foot-11 and 245 pounds and can move quickly and aggressively with or without the ball. He specializes in setting hard screens and rolling quickly to the basket, where he can post up and get to the basket with force. Wagner can also shoot the three, which is something Gafford couldn’t do.
Wagner averages 7.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game this season with an average of 15 minutes per game. He has started in 13 of the 25 games he has played this season. In those, he shoots 50.8 percent from the field, 31 percent from three, and 78.8 percent from the line.
Brown, the 21-year old out of Oregon, is a 6-foot-6 small forward weighing 215 pounds. Brown is excellent at running in transition and can handle the ball quite well for a forward. His aggression, like Wagner’s, will help spark the offense for the Bulls.
Last season, Brown had an excellent sophomore year in the league, averaging 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game on 43.9 percent shooting from the field, 34.1 percent shooting from distance, and 78.4 percent from the charity stripe.
This season, he’s fallen off a bit, averaging just 4.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game on 13.7 minutes and 37.1 percent shooting from the field. However, his youth brings optimism to his ceiling as a 21-year old in the NBA. The Bulls bought the small forward at a low price.
Chandler Hutchison- $2.4M and $4M (extension eligible)
Daniel Gafford- $1.5M, $1.8M (non-guaranteed) and $1.9M (team)
$2.1M TE created
Troy Brown- $3.8M and $5.2M (extension eligible)
Mo Wagner- $2.2M
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) March 25, 2021
As I mentioned before, Hutchison was hardly a loss, but Gafford stings a little bit. He struggled while replacing Wendell Carter Jr. as the starting center while he was hurt earlier this season, but he is a solid bench player.
Gafford played in 31 games and started in 11 of them. His numbers per 36 minutes better show his value, averaging 13.8 points and 9.7 rebounds in that sample size and shooting 69 percent from the field. His size in the paint is valuable and his defensive skills are applicable too.
Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley hit the nail on the head again. By the looks of this trade, it seems they have made an upgrade to the bench with two versatile young players. They need development, but they could become solid role players off the bench for the future. Mark this as another successful trade for the Bulls in the final hours of the NBA trade deadline.