According to several insiders, there is a growing interest for Bobby Portis of the Chicago Bulls. It’s understandable, considering that he provided some great minutes, solid point production and overall energy off the bench. The former SEC player-of-the-year struggled to find his spot during his first couple years in the league. However, he seemed to put it all together this previous season.
Portis set career highs across the board last season, and is hoping to improve on those numbers. He stated that his goal for the upcoming season is to win the NBA’s 6th Man of the Year award. That type of production isn’t available just anywhere. That could work in the Bulls favor, especially if they decide they are going to trade him for some more assets, which would most likely be a high-to-mid first-round draft pick.
As with any trade, there are pros and cons to this. Starting off the “pro” side, Portis is only 23-years-old. Even though the Bulls main core is going to be Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, Portis still brings some energy and youth to the mix, even if he isn’t starting. There’s a reason he was a first-round pick back in 2015, and he’s just starting to hit his stride. As a player who can play the four and five spots in the game, Portis is also versatile, and gives Coach Fred Hoiberg some options in his lineup.
2019 nba 6th man of the year. Speak everything into existence https://t.co/XStDVZw7ui
— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) June 2, 2018
In addition, Portis isn’t making a tremendous amount of money. This year, he’s getting a raise that’s still ultimately going to be under $2.5 million. It’s a team-friendly option, to say the least. Not to mention that if the Bulls were to keep Portis for the 2019-20 season, his qualifying offer would still be under $4 million. If Portis does achieve his goal and win the 6th Man of the Year award, that would be quite the contract.
However, the cons of keeping Portis need to be addressed. He does have a bit of a violent streak, as he and former teammate Nikola Mirotic had an altercation in which Portis broke Mirotic’s nose. The resulting blow left Mirotic out until December 8, and Portis suspended for eight games.
That was all cleared up though, and the Bulls eventually traded Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans, which is how they received their second first-round selection. Overall, Portis brought a tremendous amount of energy and grit to the Bulls, which is something they will need going forward.
The other issue is just how much are teams willing to give up for Portis. While a 6th Man of the Year award would certainly bump up his stock, he isn’t there yet. Therefore, the Bulls are most likely going to have to perform some sort of package deal to get something they actually desire, which in this case would most likely be another top-15 pick. That’s not to say that it couldn’t happen, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
If that did happen, the Bulls could use the 7th overall pick on players like Mo Bamba, Wendell Carter Jr., or Michael Porter Jr. (provided his medical records all checked out). Then they could use the other draft pick they acquired to get some much needed help on the wings. Of course, that is the ideal solution, and the NBA draft has a history of making teams overpay to get help they need.
Everything is speculation until then, but if the Bulls can make a team overpay and get some more assets to accelerate their rebuild, then they should do it. The most likely scenario is that the Bulls are going to keep Portis, use their 7th pick on someone they really like, and then use their other first-round pick to get the best player available.
Either way, the Bulls have a little bit of an advantage here. Let’s hope the front office can use it greatly.