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Bulls’ outlook on trading Thaddeus Young, Otto Porter Jr.

Bulls, Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Thaddeus Young

The Chicago Bulls have been playing at a higher level this season, particularly due to the recent emergence of Zach LaVine to All-Star status. However, his supporting cast will need to be just as good if they want to give themselves a chance to compete in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Two players who are finding themselves in trade rumors as of late are Thaddeus Young and Otto Porter Jr. However, according to Kevin O’ Connor of The Ringer, Bulls executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas already insisted that the team will not be putting Young on the trading block.

The Bulls have plenty of reasons not to pull the trigger on any deal involving the veteran forward as he is currently producing 12.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists through 30 games off the bench. Aside from his impact on the team’s second unit, he is also emerging as a veteran leader for the Bulls’ young core of LaVine, Coby White, and Patrick Williams.

It remains to be seen if Karnisovas will stay true to his words, especially when an enticing deal appears on the table before the trade deadline. Though it will be unlikely since only $6 million of Young’s $14.2 million contract will be guaranteed for next season, thus making it hard for teams to pry him away from the Bulls.

On the other hand, Porter has failed to see significant action in the past two seasons since 2019 due to a back injury which limited him to appear in 45 games. Midway through the 2020-21 season, he is currently averaging 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 16 games played.

Porter is already on the last season of a four-year, $106 million contract signed with the Washington Wizards back in 2017. The Bulls can just opt to let his contract expire by the end of the season or agree to a buyout with the Golden State Warriors emerging as an interested suitor, per O’Connor.

Given how things currently stand, the Bulls are still doing a respectable effort regarding their rebuilding cause. However, they would definitely need to make trades if they want to make a strong push in the second half of the season in a bid to land one of the playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.