The Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls worked out a trade in which the Wizards will send small forward Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls in exchange for forwards Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis, plus a second-round draft pick.
With all eyes on the future of Anthony Davis, the Wizards/Bulls swap flew under the radar on the eve of the NBA trade deadline. If you don’t know Otto Porter but think he looks familiar, he is renown around the NBA for being a doppelganger for music superstar Lionel Richie.
The Wizards (22-32) are four games out of the final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls (12-42) are one of the worst teams in the NBA not named the New York Knicks.
Washington Wizards trade: Otto Porter, Jr.
Chicago Bulls trade: Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, 2023 second round draft pick
Otto Porter is in his fifth year out of Georgetown. The Wizards picked him with the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Porter was fortunate enough to play his collegiate ball and pro ball in the same city. He averaged 12.6 points per game this season, down from 14.7 points from last season.
Bobby Portis (14.1 ppg, 7.3 rebounds) is expected to step in to replace Markieff Morris at power forward, who the Wizards shipped out to New Orleans. Jabari Parker (14.3 ppg, 6.2 rebounds), the former number two overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, will provide the Wizards with cap relief next season with a team option for $20 million. The Wiz will not pick that up, so Parker can walk away as a free agent at the end of the season.
Rough Year in DC
The entire Washington Wizards franchise has been in a free fall after peaking two seasons ago. In the 2016-17 season, the Wizards went 49-33 and locked up the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference. The beat the Atlanta Hawks in the opening round. After being down 2-0, the Wizards took the Boston Celtics to seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Wizards finished the postseason with a 7-6 record, including a 6-0 record at home.
Last season, the team began their decline, yet still secured the #8 seed with a 43-39 record. The Wizards were bounced in the opening round of the playoffs by the top-seeded Toronto Raptors. However, the Raptors needed six games to put away the pesky Wizards.
This season started out with rumors of an unhappy locker room with John Wall and Bradley Beal feuding. Wall, the former number one pick from the 2010 NBA Draft, was mentioned in trade rumors when the season began. However, the team did not move him. Beal and Wall went on to set an NBA record against James Harden and the high-scoring Houston Rockets for most points in an NBA game by starting backcourts.
Last week, Wall suffered a fall at home and ruptured his Achilles tendon. Doctors said he would miss all of next season while he recovered. The Wizards shut Wall down shortly after Christmas after season-ending heel surgery.
The Wizards are now saddled with Wall’s contract. He made $19.1 million this season, but it was the first year of a $84.8 million contract.
By trading away Porter and acquiring Portis/Parker’s expiring contracts, the Wiz cleared significant amount of cap space. Porter, who makes $26 million this season, could earn up to $55 million over the next two seasons by picking up his one-year player option.
The Chicago Bulls got off to a horrendous start and fired the popular “Mayor” to shake things up. Fred “The Mayor” Hoiberg was a college hoops legend in Iowa, but he couldn’t cut the mustard in Chicago. After a 5-19 start, the Bulls fired heacd coach Fred Hoiberg.
The Bulls installed assistant coach Jim Boylen as the head coach. Boylen butted heads with players from day one with his in-your-face approach and bootcamp-like practices. Less than a week into his new job, Boylen and the Bulls suffered an embarrassing 56-point blowout to the Celtics. The loss was the worst in Bulls history.
The Bulls are 7-23 since they fired Hoiberg. Only the Cleveland Cavs and the Knicks in the Eastern Conference, and the Phoenix Suns in the West, lost more games than the Bulls this season.
Otto Porter has two years left on his contract and he’s expected to pick up an option for an additional year. The Bulls are trying to rebuild around Porter and Zach LaVine. LaVine is one year removed from ACL surgery. He got off to a strong start, but his numbers have since tailed off. LaVine and Porter is not a bad start, but the Bulls still need help.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Chicago Bulls are 5,000/1 odds to win the NBA Championship. The Washington Wizards are 2,000/1 odds to win the NBA title.