Bulls’ Chandler Hutchison out indefinitely with personal issue

Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison is out indefinitely with a personal issue, head coach Billy Donovan said before the team’s matchup with the Washington Wizards Monday night.

“The conversations I have had with him have been absolutely terrific. I give him a lot of credit. He’s handled himself like a complete pro,” Donovan said. “But right now there’s some things he needs to focus on personally and that’s where his attention is at.”

Since returning from a bout with COVID-19, Hutchison, who is in his third season with the Bulls after being selected 22nd overall in the 2018 draft, has been outside the Bulls’ rotation, taking the floor in just three of a possible eight games, and averaging 3.9 minutes in those appearances. Donovan said Hutchison’s absence effectively began before Saturday’s win over the Orlando Magic, for which Hutchison did not dress. He played 4 minutes in the Bulls’ loss to the Magic on Friday.

Donovan said he doesn’t know how long Hutchison’s absence will endure, but that he will continue to be with the team and on the sideline for games.

“We had a conversation right before the (second Magic) game a little bit,” Donovan said. “And I wanted to get back and have him sleep on some things and digest some things about the things he expressed to me. And when we got back (to Chicago) we had a chance to visit a little bit further and obviously with what he’s dealing with right now, it’s gonna be apparent that he’s gonna be out for some time.

 

“I don’t know how long it is, but the conversation started and they’ve been mutual. They’ve been really transparent and open. They started the second night in Orlando.”

Also on the availability front: Otto Porter Jr., who after the Wizards contest will have missed the Bulls’ last four games with a lingering back ailment, remains out and without a timetable to return.

“We’re trying to do everything we possibly can to help him get back, to strengthen that back and get him feeling good so this is not a recurring situation for him. I really don’t have a timeline on when that’s gonna be,” Donovan said. “I would say that he’s gotten better. He’s improving but not nearly to the point or to the level that maybe he could go back to playing at the level he was before this happened.”

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