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Bulls "definitely" view Portis as a starter

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Will #FreeBobbyPortis ever happen at all this season?

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

KC Johnson had a Bulls Q&A mailbag. Interestingly, when the subject of Bobby Portis was brought up, this is KC's response:

The Bulls definitely view him as a starter. He’s more of a power forward but could certainly play some center in smaller lineups. Just because Portis isn’t playing doesn’t mean the Bulls are any less high on him. Hoiberg is having trouble finding enough minutes for four bigs, much less five.

It's no secret that Hoiberg was going to have trouble finding minutes for Portis this season. Not only because he is a rookie, but more due to the depth currently at the PF & C positions. What's interesting though is how KC says the team "definitely" views him as a starter. What's missing is a qualifier. Is he viewed as a starter NOW? Next season?

KC has always been very plugged into the Bulls front office and staff. So if he says the Bulls "definitely" view Portis as a starter, I can't find any reason to not believe him. However, some detailed context would be helpful in deciphering what is being said. The Bulls (including many around the league) also have said that Taj Gibson could be a starter too. So is this a "wait your chance" type of thing or do they think he legit could be starting?

If the Bulls view Portis a someone who should be starting THIS season, that begs the question, how long do you keep a "starter" cemented to the bench? Will a trade occur in order to get Portis more playing time?

How does Portis feel? Make no mistake...he wants to play.