Bulls will use a "load management" plan with Porter
Otto Porter Jr. played in 15 of a possible 28 games after joining the Bulls in a trade.
So coach Jim Boylen plans to be careful with Porter's workload this season. The plan is to play him no more than 30 minutes per game early on and perhaps take a pass on back-to-back games. The first test of this strategy arrives right away, with the first set of back-to-back games coming this weekend when the Bulls play at Memphis on Friday, then host Toronto in the home opener on Saturday.
"We'll manage him on the off days in a real respectful way," Boylen said. "Obviously, he's a big piece. He's our starting three, a big wing. And we need him."
The practice of "load management" has become an increasingly common occurrence in the NBA. San Antonio's Gregg Popovich regularly rests his older veterans during the team's run of success.
Porter, meanwhile, is 26 and the team's highest-paid player this season at $27.25 million. He played in at least 74 games for four straight years in Washington before dropping to 56 last season.
Second-year forward Chandler Hutchison, who is expected to back up Porter, is sidelined for now with a hamstring injury.
"I'll hold it down for us until we get Chandler back," Porter said. "That's going to always be my job. We've got a lot of guards that can play the three too. We got a lot of guys that can play multiple positions."
Why modern-day NBA players need more rest is a more difficult question. For trivia buffs, Michael Jordan played in all 82 games three years in a row when the Bulls won championships from 1995-98.
Rudy can't fail:
Former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, who gave Jim Boylen his first NBA job in 1992, is hanging around the Bulls for the next week or so, at Boylen's request. Boylen explained the visit in more detail.
"He's here to sit in our staff meetings, evaluate my process, our process," Boylen said. "He has a great eye for situational basketball. And he's a champion. He can talk to me about things I need to do better, the things I'm doing well in a different way maybe than anyone else. So it's really good to have him here. You can't have enough winners around.
"I believe in having guys give input. Doug (Collins) has been a terrific resource for me and us. And Rudy T is a resource for me and us. I've sent him film on us. He watched every game last year. Rudy watched our preseason games, studies our stats. Why wouldn't you use a guy that you trust and love and who loves you and cares for you to help you?"
The Bulls officially picked up contract options for the 2020-21 season for Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison. … The Bulls released Milton Doyle, Justin Simon and Simisola Shittu over the weekend. It's possible all three could end up playing for the Windy City Bulls. … The Bulls have yet to add a second player on a two-way contract. That will likely happen soon as players are released from other NBA teams.