Most any trade that involves the Chicago Bulls getting rid of small forward Otto Porter Jr. and big man Cristiano Felicio in the same deal should be done.
If there was any actual way that the Oklahoma City Thunder would be willing to part ways with the likes of veteran star point guard Chris Paul (and his massive contract) to bring in veteran small forward Otto Porter Jr. and big man Cristiano Felicio from the Chicago Bulls, it would be a welcome sight. What are the two worst contracts on the current Bulls cap sheet will be extremely difficult to move this offseason.
But that type of trade is exactly what Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed for the Bulls on Oct. 26. Buckley of Bleacher Report pitched the idea that the Bulls could ship off the $8 million man Felicio and the $28 million man OPJ to the Thunder, along with their 2020 second round draft pick (originally from the Memphis Grizzlies), for that noted return of Paul.
Here’s more on what Buckley had to say about this trade package for the Bulls and Thunder.
If Porter could ever stay healthy, he might help shore up some of the Chicago Bulls’ weaknesses on the wings. Saying that, did anyone look at the 22-43 Bulls and think they were an Otto Porter Jr. away from relevance? Plus, it’s not like they can wave their wand and make him healthy. He’s played 70 games the past two seasons combined. Chicago can’t rely on that for a critical evaluation season for the new front office.
Instead, the Bulls should want to discover how this roster looks with a legitimate floor general running the show. Paul would be perfect. He can rally the team at both ends, play on or off the ball and mentor Chicago’s many young players (including Coby White, who already has a rich relationship with him). He could also reconnect with head coach Billy Donovan after bonding with him last season in the Sooner State.
I do find it hard to believe that really any Bulls fan would want to turn down this trade offer if it came their way. While the Bulls will be off the contracts of OPJ and Felicio both by the 2022 offseason, and Paul’s contract carries beyond that, it would be a much more efficient use of that large amount of cap space.
And the Bulls would finally get that highly sought after star they’ve been looking for. At the same time, it also solves the problem of figuring out what to do for the future of the point guard position. Paul is by no means a long term answers at the one, but he could help mentor the likes of Coby White, and anyone else that the Bulls would try at point guard.
Landing Paul also wouldn’t do a whole lot for the Bulls mortgaging their future in this trade proposal. Pretty much all of the young core would get to stick together (unless you consider OPJ part of the young core), and they would have the veteran addition of the 10-time NBA All-Star selection CP3.
Maybe the best part about this trade deal in the immediate future for the Bulls would be getting rid of Felicio. Freeing up that portion of the rotation to fill up with another more valuable big man could be huge for the Bulls heading into next season.