In addition to Dennis Smith Jr. and Marcus Morris, some teams have interest in trading for Knicks forward Bobby Portis, per sources familiar with the matter. Portis signed a two-year $31 million deal with the Knicks over the summer, but the second year is a team option. So a contending team looking for front-line depth could view Portis as, essentially, an expiring contract.
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SNY Knicks: Several teams around the league have shown interest in Bobby Portis. (@Ian Begley)
When did you first learn of the trade to Washington and what was your initial reaction? Bobby Portis: “It’s been a crazy two weeks. On Sunday [before the trade deadline], I was seeing rumors and stuff on Twitter and Instagram so I called my agent. I asked him, “Am I in trade talks?” My agent immediately called Gar Forman, who is the GM of the Bulls. Gar Forman said, “No, it would have to be a blockbuster trade. If we were getting [a superstar like] LeBron James or Kevin Durant, then yeah, we’d trade Bobby. But [otherwise], no, we’re not trading Bobby.” So Tuesday comes around and I’m at a G-League game when my agent called me. He said he got a call from Gar and [Bulls VP of Basketball Operations] John Paxson and they were asking questions like, “Does Bobby really want to be here? Does Bobby love being a Bull? Is he fine with his role?” I’ve been having a good year and I guess they were trying to see if I still wanted to be in Chicago. And, obviously, my answer was yes. Who doesn’t want to play for the great city of Chicago? Who doesn’t want to play at United Center and be a Bull?”
Bobby Portis: “On Wednesday, [I’m thinking], “I know for sure that I’m going to be a Bull after the deadline.” We had a game that night, so I went through my pregame routine, got taped, put my jersey on and sat in the locker room. Twenty-three minutes before the game started, one of the coaches told me that our head coach, Jim Boylen, wanted to talk with me. I walked into his office and I see Gar, Pax and Coach Boylen. They told me that they had agreed in principle to trade me. I asked, “Where am I going?” Then, they were hesitant to say. They finally said the Wizards. My heart dropped. My stomach dropped. I didn’t know what to think. I went back to the locker room and I was just hugging everybody, shaking everyone’s hand. Everybody was in shock because nobody knew I was going to be traded. That wasn’t even a thought anyone had considered because they loved me there. It was a crazy feeling. Then, my phone started going haywire, so I guess that’s when the news dropped and everybody found out.”
I saw some of your tweets after the deal and I could tell you were upset with how this played out. Did the fact that the front office said you wouldn’t be dealt make it hurt more? Bobby Portis: “Yeah, it really hurts. They told me how much they valued me – that I was part of our core and that I was in the long-term plans. They told me how much they loved my energy, my heart, how hard I worked, how much I loved playing for the Bulls. Them telling me that I’m going to be there [through the deadline] and telling me that they want to work things out this summer [in restricted free agency]. We weren’t able to agree to a contract extension [before the Oct. 15 deadline], but they said they wanted to agree to something this summer before free agency hits. I think back on everything they told me. All this stuff was said and then I don’t even get notified when I’m getting traded? (pause) It’s just a crazy feeling. I guess I’m getting my first taste of the business. Business is business, I guess. I just don’t think it was done the right way.”
Significant financial savings in Washington with the Otto Porter trade to Chicago. The Wizards tax bill for this season now drops from $8.96M to $3.34M. The team is now $2.3M below the tax threshold. For 2019-20, Washington now has $89.5M in guaranteed contracts, a savings of $28M. Jabari Parker has a $20M team option that needs to be exercised by June 29. Bobby Portis is on an expiring contract and the Wizards will have until the end of June to submit a $3.6M Qualifying Offer.
It’ll likely to get worse, though, with Portis, Lopez and Parker all likely to be traded, weakening the roster without necessarily garnering significant returns. (Portis would probably command the most in a deal and could still be a part of the Bulls’ future if the price is right.)
It’s been described by one source as “one of them has to go” and the Bulls are aware of the tenuous situation. Mirotic agreed to a two-year contract with the Bulls on the eve of training camp, with the second year being a team option.
The Bulls have talked to at least one team about Portis, sources tell NBCSportsChicago.com and that activity promises to continue over the next few days.
But there’s a growing sense that Mirotic would find returning to a locker room with Portis difficult. In an odd way, the severity of Mirotic’s injuries could help assuage the delicate and fluid situation merely by the passage of time. Emotions remain raw for now.
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September 19, 2021 | 5:06 pm EDT Update
Tommy Beer: Oh man… The French Prince Frank Ntilikina says goodbye to New York in a video posted to his Instagram page. getting dusty in here pic.twitter.com/8q8hi6LCsl
September 19, 2021 | 4:26 pm EDT Update
Keith Smith: Jarrell Brantley, who played for the Utah Jazz for the last two season, has signed with BC UNICS in Kazan, Russia. BC UNICS also signed former NBAer O.J. Mayo. Mayo last played in the NBA in in 2015-16 with the Milwaukee Bucks.
September 19, 2021 | 3:08 pm EDT Update
“I’m optimistic about our team,” added Ballmer. “I’m optimistic about our team success, and that optimism is a force multiplier. In many ways, the reason we did this is consistent with that optimism as a force multiplier approach.”
The Clippers owner also paid the town of Inglewood $66.2 million for the land where Intuit Dome will sit. The Clippers will get some of that back, though. Intuit, the software company that makes Turbo Tax, will pay the team more than $500 million for a 23-year naming rights slot. That deal only enhanced Ballmer’s optimism. “This stadium is about being optimistic about our team,” Ballmer said. “It’s about being optimistic about our fans. Get in the building, pump up, make energy,” Ballmer added, clapping his hands. “Your energy can feed our team to greater success.”