Although the NBA trade deadline takes the cake as being far more exciting, the debut of players who are moved with their new teams is always fun. On Friday, the Chicago Bulls will roll out a new-look roster and starting lineup after they struck a deal for Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter.
While the Bulls had been searching for a trade involving forward Jabari Parker, they finally found one. Only, it included another player who many fans are fairly high on in Bobby Portis, who was sent with Parker to the Wizards for Porter. The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the deal, and it pointed to Washington essentially beginning somewhat of a rebuild after John Wall’s injury.
The trade gives the Bulls an intriguing starting group moving forward, although they’re left a few questions at center following the deal. Robin Lopez, who was a contender to be bought out of his contract, looks likely to log big minutes after the trade unless Chicago opts to make a move in the buyout market.
We’re going to breakdown the Bulls’ roster and starting lineup after the Porter trade and evaluate how the rotation could look Friday against the Brooklyn Nets.
Bulls Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Nets
*Notates expected starter
C: Robin Lopez*, Cristiano Felicio
PF: Lauri Markkanen*
SF: Otto Porter*, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
SG: Zach LaVine*, Wayne Selden, Shaquille Harrison
PG: Kris Dunn*, Ryan Arcidiacono, Antonio Blakeney, Brandon Sampson
With rookie big man Wendell Carter still sidelined, the Bulls are incredibly thin up front, meaning both Lopez and Cristiano Felicio could see decent minutes. Lauri Markkanen should get all the run he can handle in this game also while Porter could play some power forward.
Regardless, the Bulls could be in the mix to add a big man sometime in the near future. The situation with Lopez is interesting, and he may still be a name to monitor in the coming days. Chicago certainly has plenty of guards in the mix, but this should lead to Porter seeing a ton of action with his new team.
Bulls’ Cap Space After Otto Porter Trade
Moving Parker’s big contract along with Portis set the team up to still have a decent amount of money for the upcoming offseason. But if the Bulls are looking to lure a top-tier, max-level free agent, they’ll need to clear up a bit more money.
As ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported, the Bulls will sit with roughly $21 million in cap space following the trade for Porter.
The 15% trade bonus for Otto Porter is voided because his current $26M salary is above the max for a player with O-6 years of service. Porter is under contract for two more seasons, $27.3M and a $28.5M player option in 2020-21. The Bulls project to have $21M (including their first round pick) in cap space for 2019-20.
Although the Bulls have a decent amount of talent, Porter should still have little trouble getting shots and potentially improving across the board in his new home.