NBA Rumors: Timberwolves Could Trade James Johnson And Second-Round Pick To Bulls For Otto Porter Jr.

The Minnesota Timberwolves made a huge step forward when they traded for D’Angelo Russell before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. However, in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and contending for the NBA championship title next season, the Timberwolves should continue to find ways to surround Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns with a quality supporting cast. One of the players that the Timberwolves could target on the trade market this fall is Otto Porter Jr. of the Chicago Bulls.

According to Dylan Jackson of Fansided’s Dunking With Wolves, the Timberwolves could acquire Porter Jr. in the 2020 offseason by sending a trade package that includes James Johnson and a future second-round pick to the Bulls.

“While on the surface, the overall value of Porter is greater than Johnson and an early 2nd-round pick, the Bulls would also be freeing up nearly $12 million by trading him to the Timberwolves. For a front office that likely wants to start a roster of its own, Otto Porter’s one-year-long contract will not mean much, and he is a quality role player that can help Minnesota win games.”

Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Chicago Bulls moves against the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center on February 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

The past two years have been a major disappointment for Porter Jr. as he spent most of that time recovering from various injuries. However, when he’s healthy, he could undeniably help the Timberwolves become a more competitive team in the deep Western Conference next year. His potential arrival in Minnesota would enable the team to improve their performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a three-and-D wingman who could replace Josh Okogie at the starting small forward position.

Porter Jr. could contribute in terms of scoring, defending the perimeter, and spacing the floor. In the seven years he played in the league, he posted a career average of 11.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Also, at 27, Porter Jr. still fits the timeline of KAT and D’lo.

What makes him a more intriguing fit in Minnesota is his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity. During the years he spent with the likes of John Wall and Bradley Beal on the Washington Wizards, Porter Jr. learned how to efficiently move off the ball, making him an ideal fit for a team with two ball-dominant All-Star caliber players on its roster.

Even if Porter Jr. wouldn’t immediately return to his old form, the proposed deal is worth a try for the Timberwolves since they would only be giving up a veteran role player in Johnson and a future second-rounder.