Two familiar faces are set to return to the Chicago Bulls lineup as soon as tomorrow against the Philadelphia 76ers. Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter Jr. hung back in Chicago during the NBA All-Star break and began taking contact in practice to prepare for their returns according to Head Coach Billy Donovan.
Lauri Markkanen has not played since February 5 in a Chicago Bulls loss to the Orlando Magic. He suffered a right shoulder injury going into the paint and has not played since. On the season, Markkanen, who is playing for a new contract, is averaging 19.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.9 APG while shooting 51.4% from the field and 39.6% from downtown.
Otto Porter Jr. is in a contract year for the Bulls as well and has been rumored as either a trade option or a buy-out candidate. In his three seasons here in Chicago, Otto has only appeared in 45 games with the club. In 16 games this season, Porter is averaging 11.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.0 APG while shooting 44% from the field and 40% from three-point range.
If the two can stay healthy for the remainder of the season, and are not moved by the March 25th NBA Trade Deadline, they can substantially help this squad make the NBA Playoffs for the first time since the 2017 NBA season.