The Chicago Bulls traded Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis to the Washington Wizards for Otto Porter just a day before the trade deadline. This came as a bit of a surprise as no one expected the Bulls to make a trade at the deadline. Even more surprising is that they would trade Portis, as he is just 23 years old and the Bulls are a rebuilding team. Nonetheless, the Bulls needed a wing after trading away Justin Holiday. With Porter now on the team, it’s important to look at how much he will help the Bulls.
Will Porter Help or Hurt the Bulls?
Porter, despite having a down season from three, is still one of the league’s best shooters. Porter is shooting 38.9 percent from three this season and 42.6 percent in his last three seasons. The Bulls only have two players who have played at least 750 minutes that are shooting above league average from three this season. They are Lauri Markkanen, at 38.6 percent, Ryan Arcidiacono at 36.4 percent and Zach LaVine at 36.4 percent. The Bulls as a team are also not good at shooting. They are 27th in three-point attempt rate, which is the amount of three-point shots per two-point shots. They are 10th in three-point percentage and 29th in total three-pointers made. With so many below average shooters on the team, Porter will help out a lot.
More Shots For Others
With the addition of Porter, players like Markkanen and LaVine will get more touches and shots. Parker and Portis shot a combined 24.2 times per game, but they didn’t play every game. They shot a combined 735 times this year in Chicago. Porter only shot 442 times for the Wizards this year, which comes out to 10.9 field goal attempts per game. Furthermore, Parker and Portis had much higher usage rates than Porter. Usage rate is an estimation of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor. In short, it’s a percentage of plays in which a player was involved. Parker has a usage rate of 25.1 percent, Portis has a usage rate of 26.6 percent and Porter has a usage rate of 18.4 percent. This means that there will be a lot more touches for players like Markkanen or LaVine.
Who Has Better Impact?
Porter, despite scoring just over ten points per game, has a good impact. The Wizards were 3.9 points per 100 possessions better with Porter on the court vs him off the court. Porter also ranks well in impact stats like ESPN’s real plus-minus or The BBall Index’s player impact plus-minus. Porter ranks 102nd in real plus-minus and 67th in player impact plus-minus. Parker and Portis rank much worse in these impact stats. Parker ranks 417th in real plus-minus and 410th in player impact plus-minus. Portis ranks 347th in real plus-minus and 283rd in player impact plus-minus. While impact based stats are not the end all be all by any means, it is evident that Porter has a much better impact on a team than Parker or Portis.
Who Is the Backup Power Forward Now?
By trading away Portis and Parker, the Bulls traded away two backup power forwards. Porter is capable of playing power forward, but it is not his primary position. This year for the Wizards he spent 36 percent of his time at power forward. Luckily for the Bulls, Chandler Hutchison has been playing power forward. Hutchison has spent 44 percent of his 895 minutes at power forward. Also, in just 191 minutes in Chicago, Porter has played 37 percent of his time at power forward. It seems like the Bulls will have Hutchison and Porter split time at power forward for the rest of the season. This also means that players like Antonio Blakeney, Wayne Selden, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot may see an increase in minutes at the small forward position.
Looking Towards the Future
This trade likely means that Porter is here to stay. He is under contract for one more year, but he has a player option worth $28.5 million that he will almost certainly opt into. With Porter on the team, the Bulls have a young lineup of Kris Dunn, LaVine, Porter, Markkanen and Wendell Carter. Considering LaVine just got paid, Markkanen and Carter were relatively high draft picks, and the Bulls just traded for Porter, it seems as though the most replaceable player here is Dunn. This will likely have major implications during the draft. The Bulls will most likely be targeting Ja Morant with their pick. Currently, the Bulls would be favored to get the fourth overall pick. If they think that Morant may go higher to a point guard-needy team like the Phoenix Suns, the Bulls may trade up to select Morant. Another option they have is to select Darius Garland or Tre Jones if they can’t get Morant.
Porter Is A Good Pickup
The Bulls should be expecting good things from Porter. He’ll bring some much needed three-point shooting for a team that could use it. He will also allow other players like LaVine and Markkanen to get more touches. He also has a much better impact than Portis or Parker which means the Bulls will likely win more games after this trade. Even after trading two power forwards, the Bulls are still in fine shape. Porter and Hutchison will likely split time at power forward and small forward. This trade also means that the Bulls are most likely targeting Ja Morant or another point guard in the upcoming draft.