Otto Porter Jr. Fitting in Well With Bulls
Otto Porter Jr. was just traded to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, and a future second round pick. The Bulls were unlikely to use their team option next year with Parker so the trade really comes out to be Porter for Portis and the second round pick.
Porter’s remaining contract is a common topic of this deal. The contract is as follows; 2018-2019 for $26,011,913, 2019-2020 for $27,250,576, and a player option in 2020-2021, which Porter will almost certainly accept, for $28,489,239. This contract will eat into the Bulls' cap for these remaining years but it is unlikely that the Bulls will use this cap for any free agent or big contracts.
Porter offers a starting caliber player at the small forward position which has been a struggle for the Bulls in recent years. Along with Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, Porter is in his mid-twenties and can space the floor. Porter shoots 40.1% from beyond the arch in his career and has over a seven-foot wingspan to guard multiple positions.
Chicago loses a player with promise in Portis, but he has played the role of a backup most of his career and with Markkanen playing great basketball it doesn’t look like Portis can emerge into a starting role. Portis is too slow to guard most small forwards in this league and can only be seen as valuable playing power forward. Despite these limitations, Portis will be looking for a new contract at around $16 million per year and the Bulls have no desire to pay that.
Looking beyond the inflated contract, Porter has fit in nicely with the young Bulls core. Porter has been with the team four games and is averaging 22.5 points per game, shooting 62% (36-58) from the field, and 57.8% (11-19) from three-point range since the trade. Porter scored 37 against the Grizzlies setting a new career high in only his fourth ever Bulls game.
The Bulls are 2-2 since acquiring Porter and have found a great rhythm offensively. The Bulls are averaging 102.8 points per game on the season but in the four games since acquiring Porter they are averaging 117.8 points. Porter has made big contributions to the Bulls thus far and will look to gain more chemistry with the team following the all-star break.
Stats and contracts via Basketball-Reference & NBA.com