Veteran forward Otto Porter speaks, and the young Bulls continue to listen

SHARE Veteran forward Otto Porter speaks, and the young Bulls continue to listen

WASHINGTON — Otto Porter Jr. won’t be hard to find this summer.

He made that clear Wednesday as he sat in a chair at the John Thompson Athletic Center on the Georgetown campus, still nursing a bum shoulder.

“I would be right where you are right now,’’ Porter said, pointing toward the practice court. “A lot. And I’ll be in Chicago a lot. Those are the two places you will definitely see me.’’

That’s good news for the Bulls, especially because they’ll be leaning on him to make sure this rebuild keeps heading in the right direction.

Guard Zach LaVine already insisted that he would help get the players together for offseason workouts, and Porter seconded that idea.

If he can get his teammates to make the trek to Georgetown — where he played two seasons — even better.

“I’m never leaving this place,’’ Porter said hours before the Bulls ended a five-game losing streak by beating the Wizards 115-114. “This is always going to be my home, so anytime I can come back to Georgetown or come back to D.C., you know I’m always going to pay my respects. This isn’t just where I went to school. No, this is part of my family. That’s what I believe in, that’s how strong this brotherhood of Georgetown is to me.’’

And for Porter, it’s about strengthening a new brotherhood.

Acquired Feb. 6 from the Wizards, Porter didn’t even get a chance to play with Wendell Carter Jr. (thumb surgery) or Denzel Valentine (ankle surgery). And because of his own shoulder problems, he really hasn’t played much with any of his teammates.

Porter only played in 15 games with the Bulls, winning seven of those — basically a third of the team’s victory total this season.


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“I can’t wait to get [Carter] back, for sure,’’ Porter said of finally working out together. “I can’t wait for everybody to get back and be healthy because it’s going to be very important for our development this summer and for what we want to accomplish next year.’’

Porter gives coach Jim Boylen another voice in the locker room as well as another ballhandler/pick-and-roll guy on the floor.

“I didn’t realize Porter was such a poised, calm guy when things are chaotic,’’ Boylen said. “When you’re a coach and look down the bench to see a guy who can do that, it’s a great feeling.

‘‘I also think his voice resonated as the year went on. He spoke up [Wednesday] morning in our film. We need more of that. I know that sounds like little things, but anytime a guy can amen what you’re doing, it’s important.’’

His voice must have resonated against his former team because trailing by one in the final seconds, Chicagoan Walt Lemon Jr. was given the ball and the chance to play hero. The former G Leaguer drew the foul and made both free throws with 1.8 seconds left to finish with a game-high 24 points.

“It means a lot,’’ Lemon said. “No one expected me to be here, and the fact that the Bulls gave me a chance to play here and now a chance to win an NBA game, I can’t ask for more. I’m truly humbled that Coach would put the ball in my hands at that time.’’

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