The Trail Blazers are just 29-25 and owner Paul Allen is investigating where to assign blame.
There was no way he was going to pay the luxury tax for this team.
So, Portland is dumping Noah Vonleh and his $3,505,233 salary on the Bulls.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Portland has traded Noah Vonleh and cash to Chicago for the rights to Milocan Rakovic, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2018
This moves Portland below the luxury-tax line – the culmination of a process that started last summer. It’s logical economically, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Trail Blazers disassembling his supporting cast sits with star Damian Lillard.
At least shedding Vonleh is unlikely to be a flashpoint.
But Vonleh is just 22 and still has the talent that made him the No. 9 pick in 2014. This is a good flier by Chicago – especially if the Trail Blazers cover all or a portion of his $1,227,822 remaining salary. If all goes well, the Bulls can make him a restricted free agent this summer. If not, they’re not on the hook for anything beyond this season.