The 2019 NBA trade deadline is quickly turning into one of the busiest in recent memory.
According to a report from Shams Charania, the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls have that will send Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls, while Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis head to the Wizards. In addition, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Wizards will also get a 2023 second-round pick.
This is one of the bigger trades so far. Here are the grades for each team.
Chicago Bulls: B+
- Otto Porter
This Bulls season has been even more bizarre and demoralizing than usual. They’ve dealt with major injuries all season long, starting before they even played a game, the players nearly staged a mutiny on replacement head coach Jim Boylen just a week after he took over for Fred Hoiberg and their lack of talent has resulted in a pitiful record.
There was little reason to expect any sort of turnaround, but they’ve swooped in out of nowhere to make a move that finally brings some good news — a rare thing around the Bulls lately.
In short, this is a great trade by the Bulls. Signing Parker was a shortsighted move and one that may not have even happened if he wasn’t from Chicago. He’s spent parts of the season out of the rotation, and still doesn’t play any defense. With a team option for next season, there was no chance he would be back. Thus, you can really think of this move as Portis for Porter, and that’s one the Bulls should make every day of the week.
Portis is a solid player, and is coming off of his best game of the season, a 33-point, nine-rebound performance over the Hornets. He is set to be a restricted free agent this summer, however, and should be looking for a decent amount of money. With Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. set as the team’s frontcourt of the future, there was no reason for them to spend on Portis to be their third big man.
Porter’s versatility on the wing is a much smoother fit, and he can slide right into the starting lineup. He’s also locked in for next season, and has a player option he’s likely to take for 2020-21. That gives them a very good young player for a few years — something they were unlikely to find in free agency given their team’s current status.
Washington Wizards: C-
- Jabari Parker
- Bobby Portis
- 2023 second-round pick
While they started out with much higher expectations than the Bulls, the Wizards have had a similarly disappointing season. They started out just 1-7, and weren’t able to get back on track. And that was before John Wall was ruled out for the season due to heel surgery — news which became even worse earlier this week when the team announced Wall suffered a torn Achilles at his home and will likely miss next season as well.
With the news of Wall’s secondary injury, it became clear that it was time to become sellers. It’s not at all surprising that they’ve decided to move Porter, their second-best asset after Bradley Beal, but the manner in which they’ve done so is a bit shocking. While Porter does make a lot of money, it seems odd that this was the best package they could get for him.
Parker is a one-dimensional player; he can score, but he doesn’t do so very efficiently and is a big minus on defense. It’s unlikely he’s on the Wizards past this season. Portis is an interesting young big, and the Wizards will get a few months to evaluate whether he should be part of their future. He’ll be a restricted free agent in the summer, and interested in a solid payday — for the Bulls that didn’t make sense, but it might for the Wizards.
And finally, they got a second-round pick four years from now. Getting more picks is never a bad thing, but this is certainly not anything to be excited about. It’s very possible that this trade eventually turns into the Wizards dumping Porter’s contract for a future second-round pick. Which… yikes.