Chicago Bulls: What does the Otto Porter trade say about team’s direction?

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls pull off a deal to acquire Otto Porter Jr., but what does it mean?

Word broke early Wednesday evening that the Chicago Bulls executed a trade with the Washington Wizards. The Bulls are reportedly sending Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a 2023 second-round draft pick to the Wizards for Otto Porter Jr.

It was a bit of a surprise in that the rumor mill had been very quiet about the Bulls being involved in any types of deadline deals. However, it was no secret that the Bulls had an interest in moving Parker who clearly wasn’t a good fit with the team.

So what does the deal say about the direction of this team? As we have written recently, the Bulls seem to have absolutely no direction or plan for the future. Each year the ‘plan’ seems to change and there never seems to be a sense that the front office has a vision for how to build a competitive team.

But this move re-instills a modicum of hope that maybe John Paxson and Gar Forman are at least going to try to execute on a plan. Now, of course, anything can happen, and you can never put it past the Bulls to turn around and flip Porter for more cash (I’m only half-kidding), but this deal says a few things about the team.

First, it says that the organization realized their mistake in signing Parker and got him out of town rather than allow all that money to sit on the bench.

Second, it says that the team likely realizes that it will not be able to — at least in the short term — attract quality free agents. Therefore, they are going to have to add valuable pieces (not superstars) to the team via trade and hope they draft that superstar this year.

Finally, it obviously says that the Bulls either had no interest or no ability to sign Bobby Portis at the end of the season. Based on the fact that they essentially replaced him with Porter, my guess is it was more of the former.

Porter is a more versatile player than Portis and is a better fit with the younger core that they are attempting to assemble. For his career, he only averages 10.7 points and 5 rebounds per game, but this year he is averaging 12.6 and 5.6. So the hope is that Porter is on the upswing and just entering his prime.

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Again, the Bulls’ plan is only as good as its next move and GarPax could undo it all with their next move. However, whether you agree with the move or not, at least it seems to make some sense, which has been lacking for quite some time in Chicago.