Bulls Rumors: Otto Porter Jr. Targeting Foot Injury Return Near All-Star Break

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2019

Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Sunday, March 10, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Chicago Bulls small forward Otto Porter Jr. is reportedly hoping to return from a left foot fracture sometime around the All-Star break in February, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

Porter has been limited to just nine games this season and has not played since Nov. 6 because of the injury.

This is Porter's first full campaign as a member of the Bulls after they acquired him from the Washington Wizards in a trade last season.

In limited action this season, Porter is averaging 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three. Those are significant downgrades from what he accomplished in 15 games with Chicago following the trade from Washington last season.

Over those 15 contests, Porter averaged 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists, and shot 48.3 percent from the floor and 48.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Porter originally went third overall in the 2013 NBA draft to Washington, and he improved steadily in each of his first five NBA seasons, which included a 2017-18 season that saw him average a career-high 14.7 points and 6.4 boards.

Given his upward trend and the fact that he is still just 26 years old, the Bulls were hopeful that he could be a significant part of their young, talented core when they traded for him.

Although Porter has show flashes, he has appeared in just 24 games for Chicago thus far. Getting him back soon is important from the Bulls' perspective since Porter could decline a player option in his contract and become a free agent at the end of the season, at which point the Bulls would have to decide whether they want to sign him to a long-term deal.

During Porter's absence, the Bulls have oftentimes been forced to go small with guards Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Coby White and Tomas Satoransky all playing north of 23 minutes per game.

The 12-20 Bulls could benefit greatly from Porter's length and versatility, and he could help them make a realistic run toward the playoffs, as they are currently just two games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.