Chicago Bulls: John Paxson believes Otto Porter befits “significant piece”

(Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The starting five for the Chicago Bulls next season can be pretty potent and surprising if the core of the group stays healthy, especially Otto Porter.

The ability for the Chicago Bulls front office to build this roster and keep moving this team toward playoff contention hopefully began before the 2018-19 regular season ended. This Chicago Bulls front office made the moves to acquire pieces like Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Otto Porter Jr. that stuck with the team through the end of the regular season.

While Luwawu-Cabarrot likely won’t be a long-term piece in the Chicago Bulls rotation, Porter Jr. could be around in the Windy City for quite a few years. Luwawu-Cabarrot was acquired by the Bulls as a result of a cash and player dump from the Oklahoma City Thunder. He could hit the free agent market as soon as this summer. It didn’t seem like he did enough to carve out a long-term role in this rotation, even deeper down the bench.

However, if Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen liked the pieces he had in place when this locker room was fully healthy, Porter Jr. could be a solid starter at the wing. Porter Jr. had quite a few fantastic outings this past season, but his action was limited.

The front office also seems to have the buy-in for a player like Porter Jr., despite his large base salary. He has the ideal skill set to thrive in today’s NBA from the wing. As long as his outside shooting stays hot, he’ll be a valuable contributor in this Chicago Bulls starting five.

John Paxson and Gar Forman originally acquired Porter Jr. from the Washington Wizards in exchange for a group of young forwards including Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. Parker seemed like he was on his way out at the deadline no matter what, but Portis could’ve stuck around in this lineup a bit longer.

Yet, this was a good move for the Bulls to deal out Parker and Portis for a return of Porter Jr. He brings a modern skill set to the table under a head coach in Boylen that needs more of those pieces in the rotation. Hopefully Boylen modernizes his schemes as well with a solid talent like Porter Jr. in the fold.

Paxson recently stated in a piece from the Chicago Sun Times that: “That’s why we made the deal at the trade deadline for Otto [Porter]. We felt that was a significant piece to becoming a much better basketball team.”

Unless the Bulls get a huge deal in return for Porter Jr., it isn’t worth moving him anytime soon. The idea that keeps getting tossed around pertaining to the Bulls summer trade situation is a draft night deal if the right pieces fall in place.

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We already mentioned the large contract that Porter Jr. carries with him as a potential negative to keeping him around in the Windy City. His 17.5 points per game and 48.8 three-point field goal percentage during his time with the Bulls this season shows how valuable of a commodity he can be for this team next season and beyond.