Just over two weeks ago, the Chicago Bulls made what can be considered one of their more successful trades of late. They were able to turn Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis into Otto Porter Jr., with not a mention of cash considerations in sight. This is quite a good move for the Bulls and addresses numerous issues with the team, such as the lack of defense and veteran leadership. However, for a team that sported a 12-42 record at the time of the trade, and who many considered to be fighting for a spot in the tank race, this may be a case of the right deal at the wrong time. Here’s how Chicago’s Otto Porter trade may hinder, not help the Bulls.
Chicago’s Otto Porter Trade May Hinder, Not Help the Bull’s future.
The Story So Far
To put it bluntly, it has not been an ideal season in Chicago. Currently sporting the fourth worst record leaguewide of 14-44, up to this point the Bulls have been tumultuous, and very uncertain. Spates of injuries to key players such as Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr and Denzel Valentine derailed the teams’ early plans before a change of coach in Jim Boylen managed to ruin what was left of the team’s chemistry. After avoiding a near mutiny, the struggling team continued to play at a level that had them as a top contender in this year’s tank race. If landing the top pick, they would undoubtedly take Duke phenom, Zion Williamson. However, fellow Duke star R.J. Barrett or Murray State’s atomic bomb Ja Morant would serve well as consolation prizes.
The Benefits Of Otto Porter Jr.
Otto Porter Jr fits into this Bulls team almost too well. Position-wise, he fills the hole at small forward which the Bulls were already struggling with. A 3 and D wing player, Porter provides some much-needed defense to this Bulls squad, as well as being a player who shoots highly efficiently and can create his shot. Chicago may also be an ideal position for Porter, who will be able to get more shot attempts and be a pivotal piece in the offensive scheme. Chicago’s game against Memphis was the first of Porter’s career where he attempted 20 field goals. He connected on 80% of them. He had 37 points.
So What’s The Problem?
Put simply, by adding Otto Porter Jr, the Bulls may risk starting to win games when they should be focusing on losing. This is an admittedly odd sentiment, however, it is too late for a playoff push from Chicago. They have locked themselves into the rebuild, and into the tank. This team might be a contender for the 5th or 6th seed for the next few seasons. But this team with Zion? Or Barrett? Morant? Reddish? That is a dangerous group. And this is a draft class that is fairly top heavy. So for the Bulls, this could be a case of the right move, at the wrong time. A right-now move, for a team who has until this point been solely invested in the future. The Bulls might start to win more games now. But will that lead to them not winning more games later? Only time will tell.