Chicago Bulls: 3 players that should be first to go if the core is blown up

Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Otto Porter Jr., Chicago Bulls
Otto Porter Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

3) Who’s first to go if Chicago Bulls blow it up

Otto Porter Jr., Small Forward

As the lone name on this list that isn’t really a key piece of the Bulls young core, veteran small forward Otto Porter Jr. would still be a trade chip that Karnisovas could work with this season. Although OPJ has the most bloated and sizable contract on the Bulls current cap sheet, it’s only on the books for the remainder of this season.

OPJ is getting paid more than $28 million for the final year of his current contract. If nothing else, that large of a contract could actually help salary match in a bigger trade deadline deal, if that’s the move that Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley find that is best for OPJ. There’s a lot of options for what the front office can do with OPJ.

The problem with trading OPJ for the Bulls will always be the lack of wing depth at Donovan’s disposal. It does help that former Florida State forward and rookie Patrick Williams is doing well thus far starting on the wing. But it’s a really nice option for Donovan to have OPJ in a sixth man role coming off the bench to hold together the rotation on the wing.

The thought process here would have to be that if OPJ is going to walk next offseason into the free agent market anyway, at least this team can get something for it. OPJ did get off to a solid start this season, though, registering 14 points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals, no blocks, and one turnover, coming off the bench. He shot an efficient 5-of-10 from the field, 0-of-2 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.