A potentially valuable trade deadline chip for the Chicago Bulls front office could be the veteran small forward Otto Porter Jr.
A common point of discussion in the last few months in the Chicago Bulls camp came up once again in a recent mailbag with K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago this week. Veteran former Washington Wizards small forward Otto Porter Jr. is in the final year of his bloated current contract, getting just under $30 million in his base salary this season.
The good news for OPJ and the Bulls in the midst of the final year of his current contract is the fact that he’s off to a solid start during this regular season slate. Through nine games played so far this season (five of which he’s started in), OPJ averaged 14.0 points per game, 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals, and no blocks.
He’s shot 43.6 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from beyond the arc, and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line. That all amounted to a 1.0 box plus/minus rating, 0.2 value over replacement player rating, .136 win shares per 48 minutes, 59.5 true shooting percentage, and a 17.9 player efficiency rating.
The way that OPJ is playing out of the gates for the Bulls, the deadline deal discussion involving him could soon become a reality. But that all depends on the plans that first-year executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas have for the future of this rebuild, and how he plays for first-year head coach Billy Donovan in a frequently shifting role in the rotation.
If Karnisovas and the Bulls do ultimately decide that getting some level of value from OPJ’s presence in the rotation at the deadline is the right move, what options could they have?