Chicago Bulls: Breaking down injuries to Zach LaVine and Bobby Portis

(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
(Photo by Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images) /

3. Which reserve(s) will step up during Portis’ absence?

In nine appearances this season, Portis has complied averages of 11.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest.

Although his shooting numbers (41.3 percent overall and 25 percent from beyond the arc) have dipped a bit from last season, he is still the one of the most valuable players of the second unit.

Now that Portis is on the shelf for the next several weeks, which of the reserves will be called upon to step up over the next several weeks. One option is Jabari Parker.

Sure, there have been reports that have surfaced about Parker’s camp requesting a trade as well as the Bulls fielding offers for the $20 million man they acquired during the offseason, but in spite of that, defensive shortcomings aside, Parker had begun playing well after struggling during the preseason.

He averaged 17.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest and shot 45.4 percent during the month of November.

Also, he posted four double-doubles during a seven-game stretch from Nov. 21 through Dec. 1. He is Chicago’s second leading scorer and ranks third on the team in rebounding.

In other words, despite the trade talks that have recently circulated, Parker is a viable option.

Conversely, if Jim Boylen continues to deem Parker as unusable, rookie forward Chandler Hutchison — who the Bulls selected with the No. 22 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft — could also see some extended minutes at the power forward spot as well.

Even that isn’t a sure thing, though, as Hutchison hasn’t seen a lot of action since the coaching change took place. After averaging close to 19 minutes per contest under Fred Hoiberg, Hutchison has surpassed the 15-minute mark just three times in nine games under Boylen.

If Boylen is smart, he will put Parker back in the mix because 1) they need scoring from the second unit and 2) if Parker can duplicate the numbers he put up prior to being removed from the rotation, it could potentially increase his trade value for the teams who may be interested in acquiring his services.