CHICAGO – The Washington Wizards decided they needed to shake things up with All-Star point guard John Wall out for the season.
Otto Porter Jr. is out. Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis are in.
Washington traded Porter to the struggling Bulls on Wednesday for Parker and Portis. A person familiar with the situation confirmed the move on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
The Athletic first reported the trade.
The Wizards changed up their front court in the aftermath of the news that Wall needs surgery for a ruptured left Achilles tendon and is expected to miss much – if not all – of next season. Wall already was sidelined for the rest of this season because of an operation on his left heel.
The trade also ends a failed experiment for the Bulls after Parker signed a $40 million, two-year contract with his hometown team. The Bulls lost Wednesday’s game against New Orleans to leave them with a 12-42 record and 16 losses in 18 games.
Porter had joined Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal to form a young nucleus of lottery draft picks the Wizards were trying to build around. But it did not pan out; Washington never made it past the second round of the playoffs with that trio.
All three have big contracts. The Wizards held onto Porter in 2017 by matching a $106.5 million, four-year, max-contract offer he had signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
But he’s averaging only 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds this season while shooting only 36.9 percent on 3-point attempts. He has been in and out of Washington’s starting lineup.
The Wizards lost Wednesday night’s game at Milwaukee and have a 22-32 record, putting them tied for 10th in the Eastern Conference, and more moves could come before the trade deadline.
Porter, who figures to slot in as the Bulls’ small forward, will be playing on a new home court for the first time since high school. He played college basketball at Georgetown, which uses the Wizards’ arena for home games, then was taken by Washington with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
Parker led Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy to four state championships and starred for one season at Duke before Milwaukee drafted him with the No. 2 pick in 2014. He tore the ACL in his left knee twice in four seasons with the Bucks.
His homecoming didn’t go the way he hoped.
Parker was in and out of the Bulls’ rotation, averaging 14.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in 39 games. He wasn’t really a fit for former coach Fred Hoiberg’s pace-and-space offense and isn’t much of a defensive player – an area current coach Jim Boylen stresses.
“It was a great experience,” Parker said. “Not bitter. It’s just the business and what they’re trying to accomplish. Right now, I’ve got a better opportunity.”
Portis, averaging 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds, has been limited to 22 games because of knee and ankle injuries.