Chicago Bulls Making Final Decision on 2 Miami Heat Targets

Otto Porter Jr.

Getty Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. could be getting a buyout and looking to join a playoff contender.

The Miami Heat lost out on the Blake Griffin sweepstakes but there are other options if the franchise truly wants to bolster the frontcourt. For starters, the Chicago Bulls appear ready to offer Otto Porter Jr. a buyout.

The 6-foot-8, 198-pound forward has only played 45 games in three seasons since leaving the Washington Wizards, but there’s plenty to like about him as an intriguing post player to pair alongside Bam Adebayo. Porter has averaged 11.0 points and 5.0 rebounds for his career, including 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 16 games this year. He was the third overall pick out of Georgetown in the 2013 draft.

Several teams are eyeing Proter, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, and prepared to gobble him up should the Bulls offer him a buyout. He’s due $28.4 million in base salary this season while carrying a dead-cap charge of $28.4 million. The 27-year-old could choose to eat some of the money to go play for a contender. O’Connor specifically mentions the Golden State Warriors as one interested team, but the Miami Heat have been loosely linked to Porter for weeks.

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“The biggest challenge, I think, for myself and the staff coaching-wise is, can we keep these guys really engaged to compete and play?” Bulls head coach Billy Donovan told the Chicago Sun-Times on all the trade rumors. “Because even if there is stuff out there, that may or may not be true. I have no idea.”

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Thaddeus Young Off the Trade Market?

One of the prized forwards thought to be on the trading block was Thaddeus Young. The 14-year veteran would be the perfect deadline piece for a contender like the Miami Heat. He has always been adept at doing the dirty work necessary on both ends of the floor while providing a healthy dose of proven leadership. Young is averaging 12.1 points, 4.4 assists, 5.9 rebounds this season for the Bulls.

One problem, Chicago has no intention of trading Young. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Bulls don’t want to give the 32-year-old forward away to the highest bidder. Young has $6 million of the $14.2 million on his contract guaranteed for next season. O’Connor wrote the following:

Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is telling teams that Thaddeus Young isn’t available for trade, according to multiple league sources. Executives wonder whether Karnisovas is just posturing to gain leverage since Young is highly sought after, but he does help facilitate development for their youth.

Orlando Magic Star Rumored to Heat, Too

There is no dearth of rumors this time of year, right? Another name on the Miami Heat radar is Nikola Vucevic. The 6-foot-11 Montenegrin center just competed in his second All-Star game as a member of Team Durant where he scored five points and grabbed seven boards in 13 minutes. He has enjoyed a dominating season so far for the Orlando Magic, averaging 24.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.

O’Connor reported that the Heat have “expressed significant interest” in acquiring Vucevic at the trade deadline. Other teams in the mix to land his services include the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, and Charlotte Hornets. However, it seems very unlikely the Magic would part ways with Vucevic after inking him to a four-year, $100 million contract in 2019.


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