The Chicago Bulls missed the chance to trade Otto Porter Jr., and COVID-19 makes it more difficult to find a trade partner.
COVID-19 really deterred the Chicago Bulls‘ chances of trading Otto Porter Jr. by the June 28th deadline for players with Player Options and Early Termination Options. Porter Jr. sucked up $27.2 million last season and will make $28.4 million in 2020-21, the 36th highest-paid player and 10th-highest paid small forward per HoopsHype.
Porter Jr. has played in only 29 of the Bulls’ 93 games since coming over after the trade with the Wizards in February of 2019. He was regarded as one of the up-and-coming Three-and-D wings in the league but hasn’t proved much with Chicago in one-and-a-half seasons.
The kicker as to why most teams wouldn’t strike a deal for Porter Jr. outside of his massive contract is he has a 15 percent trade bonus in his contract, which equals a $4.08 million incentive into his pocket, as well as receiving half of his yearly salary upfront at the beginning of each season. Time to welcome back, Otto, whether you like or not.
The NBA is rumored to have players returning starting June 1st and training camps begin on June 21st. If the NBA does come back to finish the regular season and playoffs, Porter Jr. will not play the rest of the regular season even with the delay. Chicago stands at 22-43 and 11th in the East and 24th overall in the league. The Bulls went 22-60 in 2018-19 and 27-55 in 2017-18.
The Bulls traded Jabari Parker after signing him in the previous offseason, Bobby Portis the 2016 first-round pick, and a future second-round pick. The trade didn’t really work out for either team as Parker is on the Kings now, the second-round pick hasn’t been utilized yet, and Portis played more than Porter Jr. for far-less money, so maybe that’s the win right there.
The NBA’s salary cap has been adjusted for the upcoming season and is supposed to jump from $109.14million to $115 million in 2020-21, and $125 million in 2021-22. The Bulls payroll for 2019-20 is $117 with Porter being the highest-paid player by $7.750 million (Zach LaVine).
A trade being very unlikely with the NBA rumored to come back, what’s next for Porter Jr., and what can Bulls fans expect from the hobbled veteran when he returns to the starting lineup?