Chicago Bulls: Otto Porter Jr can become a big-time scorer

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

Otto Porter Jr gets the chance at a full offseason in the Chicago Bulls training facility. Now, he can become a catalyst scorer on this young roster.

There’s a lot to like in Otto Porter Jr. Initially picked No. 3 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, the now-ousted GM of the Washington Wizards, Ernie Grunfeld, envisioned a future All-Star. Instead, the then-19-year-old Georgetown forward became a solid starting presence as a scorer. The Chicago Bulls are trying to find the right formula for him now.

Washington never gave Porter the chance to be himself. Instead, they dressed him as a budding superstar, when he’s really more of a glue-guy-big-scoring type. They gave Porter a four-year, $106 million contract with a player option for the finale. The money elevated, but Porter’s game never took the leap.

Once Porter took the floor for the Chicago Bulls, it seemed Jim Boylen found something in the forward other’s missed; Porter is meant for the catch-and-shoot.

Porter played just 15 games in a Bulls uniform last season after the Feb. 6 trade deadline deal with Washington, sitting for a majority of the final two months of the season. While the Bulls officially reported Porter’s absence as an injury, it had more to do with tanking.

Based on his performance that small sample of games, the Bulls should want Porter in uniform for the better part of 82 tilts. He averaged 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in Chicago, but his offensive presence gave the Bulls life.

Shooting the lights out in Chicago became Porter’s big arrival to the Windy City, putting on an absolute show for Bulls fans. He hit 48.8 percent from three, had an excellent 58 percent true shooting percentage, a +1.7 offensive box plus/minus, and an offensive rating of 115.

Not to mention, he set his career-high at 37 points in his fourth game in Chicago red.

Such a big part of Porter’s early success in Chicago came from moving his role to much more of a catch-and-score threat. While the Bulls relied on Zach LaVine to feed Porter a lot of touches, a better ball handling presence should allow Porter to improve as a scorer.

If for no other reason than it presents some urgency for the Bulls front office to act on the point guard position, Porter is giving the Bulls a direction; up, and with A LOT more three-pointers. No matter what, the Bulls need to pursue good, passing point guard options in the offseason.

Whether or not fans like it, Porter is going to be a Chicago Bull for the next couple of seasons, or at least the next two (one guaranteed, plus the player option in 2020-2021 that he’d be insane not to accept).

Let’s face it; the Bulls are built to shoot three-pointers at the right time, now they need to bring it all together. There’s plenty of reasons to shout in the streets about John Paxson, but now he’s got some knock-down shooters in his starting five.

Next. Picturing Chicago Bulls as Game of Thrones characters. dark

Otto Porter Jr being on this roster is a blessing for the Bulls. Come the start of next season, will be a 26-year-old veteran entering year seven of his NBA career. Spending an off-season learning Boylen’s system, Porter should be even sharper than in his first 15 games.