The Bulls need Michael Porter Jr. and he needs them just as much. Let’s begin by saying that DeAndre Ayton will be the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. That is almost without question by now. If the Chicago Bulls receive the top draft pick, that is who they will take, and that is who they should take. But the Bulls only have 5.3 percent chance at the No. 1 pick. It’s most likely that they’ll pick sixth. With this pick, there’s one clear choice: Michael Porter Jr.
Michael Porter Jr. Is Chicago’s Future
At Chicago’s end of season press conference, Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said that while “it’s hard to overlook talent” in the draft, what Chicago really needed was a wing player. Someone to stretch the floor and provide spacing in an often stagnant offense. The 2018 draft will feature a plethora of talent, and many of the young players fit that mold. Names like Kevin Knox, Chandler Hutchison, Mikal Bridges, Miles Bridges, and even Luka Doncic come to mind. However, one player will fit into the Bulls’ system better than all others – Michael Porter Jr. a 6’8″ freshman from the University of Missouri. A player once projected by many to be the top pick in the 2018 draft, Porter has shown the ability to knock down the three-ball consistently, while still able to get to the rim effectively with his size and skill. After having a highly successful high school career, a back injury cut Porter Jr.’s college career short. While this may be a red flag to some Bulls fans, the injury was a blessing in disguise.
For many Chicago fans, another player coming off significant injury is at the bottom of their wish list. This is the fan base that has suffered through Derrick Rose and his torn ACL, among many other ailments. Then, it was Jimmy Butler and his knee strain. Most recently, even Zach LaVine‘s ACL. But Porter Jr.’s injury is different. It comes with a silver lining. If Porter Jr. had have played his full freshman season at Missouri, he would have no chance of falling to the Bulls at No. 6. However, an injury of this magnitude is always bound to lower a player’s draft stock. Furthermore, Porter Jr. is now in the unique position of being selective about to which teams he releases his medical records. A team will not draft a player who has suffered an injury like this without seeing his medical records. This means that, to some extent, Porter Jr. will be able to influence which team drafts him. And it looks like he wants to play for the Bulls.
The Perfect Fit
It is clear by now that Porter Jr. wants to play for Chicago. He often photographs himself wearing Bulls gear, he attended a Bulls home game late in the season, and he even had his hair cut by the Bulls’ official barber. Chicago needs an alpha, a No. 1 option, a true leader. MPJ would fill out the Bulls’ starting lineup perfectly and create a young core akin to that of the Philadelphia 76ers. It seems that other Bulls players also want Porter Jr. on their team, with Zach LaVine telling a fan that he wants Chicago to draft MPJ.
Michael Porter Jr. is the perfect fit for this Bulls squad heading into the future, and he will almost certainly be Chicago’s next big star.
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