Zach LaVine says Bulls are going to welcome Otto Porter Jr. ‘with open arms’
The Chicago Bulls traded for Otto Porter Jr. on Wednesday, sending Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker to the Washington Wizards in return. Zach LaVine, the team’s leading scorer, said he’d be willing to welcome the team’s new addition with open arms:
“I know he’s a really good 3 and D player,” said LaVine, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “We’re going to welcome him with open arms.”
While LaVine is willing to welcome his new teammate, it doesn’t make the losses of Portis and Parker any less painful. The Bulls were forced to part with Portis, a young player with upside, in order to move Parker, who proved to be a poor fit with the team after signing a two-year, $40 million deal as an unrestricted free agent in the summer:
“Bobby is pretty much like the main glue of the team, big-time voice,” LaVine said. “It sucks man. He’s one of my best friends on the team.
“He’s a big-time NBA player. He’s going to be successful wherever he is in the league. He puts in a lot of hard work. I go to the gym a lot at night. He’s one of the only dudes I see in there consistently. He’s going to deserve whatever he gets.”
The same could be said for Parker, who hoped a return to his homeland would re-ignite his career after two major ACL injuries, but it just wasn’t in the cards for the Chicago native:
“It sucks he didn’t get the way he wanted to come here, Chicago kid. I don’t think he got the fair end of the stick on that one,” LaVine said. “I know he’s one of the most talented dudes on the team. He always has been. I think he handled his tough situation really well.”
The Bulls will have a constant cog in Otto Porter Jr., who should be able to regain his starting spot for this team and carve out a new role without the likes of John Wall and Bradley Beal taking the bulk of shot attempts.