Chicago Bulls: 3 burning questions for the upcoming offseason

Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Otto Porter Jr., Chicago Bulls
Otto Porter Jr., Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

3. What happens with Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen?

There’s a few looming contract decisions that the Bulls have to face this coming offseason. In terms of current Bulls players that are set to hit the free agent market this offseason, most of them are deeper down the guard rotation. But the Bulls do have important decisions to make with guards like Kris Dunn and Shaquille Harrison.

Beyond the guard rotation, there are looming contract decisions for players that technically don’t have to hit the free agent market this year. That list mainly comes down to two key players, to-be fourth-year power forward Lauri Markkanen and former Wizards small forward (and the highest paid player on the team right now) Otto Porter Jr.

Markkanen definitely had his most underwhelming season in the NBA to date. He played in 50 games in the season that was. In those 50 games, Markkanen averaged 14.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks. He shot 42.5 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Next offseason, the Bulls will have a decision to make if they don’t re-sign/extend Markkanen’s contract this year.

Moreover, the contract decision of OPJ is not one that is really in the Bulls hands this offseason. Porter has a looming player option that he is likely to pick up. He’ll make more than $28 million in base salary next year if he picks up that player option. Considering OPJ played in just 14 games this season (and didn’t have his best outings when actually healthy), making that type of money seems like a no-brainer.