The Wizards have extended qualifying offers to both Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic ahead of free agency, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post.
The qualifying offers ($7.7 million for Porter and $4.6 million for Bogdanovic according to Basketball Insiders) make both players restricted free agents this summer.
Here’s how restricted free agency works, as explained by CBA FAQ:
When a restricted free agent wants to sign with another team, the player and team sign an offer sheet, the principal terms of which the original team is given three days to match. The offer sheet must be for at least two seasons (not including option years). If the player's original team exercises its right of first refusal within three days, the player is then under contract to his original team, at the principal terms of the offer sheet (but not the non-principal terms). If the player's original team does not exercise its right of first refusal within three days (or provides written notice that it is declining its right of first refusal), the offer sheet becomes an official contract with the new team.
A team may relinquish its right of first refusal, making the player an unrestricted free agent. If a qualifying offer is outstanding, the team can withdraw it unilaterally through July 23. It can be withdrawn after July 23 if the player consents, in which case the player is also renounced as a free agent. If a qualifying offer is not outstanding, then a team can relinquish its right of first refusal at any time by providing written notice.
Keeping Porter and Bogdanovic as restricted free agents gives them the opportunity to sign both to new deals even though the Wizards project to be over the salary cap this summer. However, it does not offer any protection from the luxury tax, which could become an issue if the team keeps both players. If the Wizards sign or match a max deal for Otto Porter, that alone could push the team into the luxury tax range before they even address Bogdanovic and whatever other signings they want to make this summer.
The Wizards have never paid the luxury tax since it was implemented by the league, but last week Ernie Grunfeld indicated the team would be willing to pay the tax for the “right player.” It’s also worth noting that luxury tax is not calculated until the end of the season, so the Wizards could try to go into the tax range to keep both, and then try to shed salary before the end of the season, though that’s certainly easier said than done.
Only time will tell what Porter and Bogdanovic’s markets bear and just how far the Wizards will go to keep both players. But for now at least, we know the team is keeping their options open with both players.
Trey Burke, who was also eligible for a qualifying offer, will not get the same opportunity. Last week, it was reported the Wizards will not extend a qualifying offer to Burke, which will make him an unrestricted free agent.