UPDATE #2: It looks like Porter’s first meeting will be with Sacramento:
The Kings will meet with restricted free agent Otto Porter today, I'm told. Wizards expected to match all offers, & he's in pursuit of max.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 2, 2017
As we noted earlier, the Kings are well under the cap, so throwing an offer sheet at Porter won’t do much to hurt their cap flexibility. Plus, Porter could reunite with his Mini-Me, Garrett Temple.
We’ll see if the Kings are willing to go full out for the max or if they try to hold back a bit.
UPDATE: It looks like Otto Porter will start listening to offers on Sunday, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com:
Teams will meet w/Otto Porter in D.C. starting tomorrow. Max sheet likely to follow early in week; Wizards would then have 48 hrs to match.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 1, 2017
Nets, Kings among likeliest teams to aggressively court Porter. Wizards have indicated they’ll match any offer sheet up to/including max.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 1, 2017
The Nets and Kings can both offer Porter a max offer. Brooklyn would need to renounce some cap holds to make it work, but that wouldn’t be much of an issue, and Sacramento is already well under the cap.
The interesting question here is whether or not either team would be willing to give Porter a player option in the deal. Charlotte did something similar with Gordon Hayward when he signed an offer sheet with the Hornets, and now it could potentially burn the Jazz as he listens to offers from the Celtics and Heat. We’ll see if this report mobilizes the Wizards to make a new offer or if they’ll call the bluff.
NBA Free Agency, or player movement in general has started out with a bang. Paul George may not be a free agent until this time next year, but he will be traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder to join Russell Westbrook when things can be official.
Moves like that affect what the Wizards ultimately do to shore up their roster. At midnight on Saturday, the Wizards began their pitch to keep him. But unfortunately, the Wizards came up empty handed. According to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, no one came to an agreement:
Told Wizards' meeting with Otto Porter is over. Does not appear they reached agreement tonight. WAS has repeatedly vowed to match any offer.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 1, 2017
From this tweet, it looks like Washington made an “aggressive” offer for themselves — but not to Porter’s liking. In other words, they offered him less than a five year, maximum contract with maximum raises.
For those of you who are more number savvy than me, that amount is worth over $143 million, based on the NBA’s official soft salary cap amount of $99.093 million. It’s a ton of money.
Thanks to @WorldWiEdWard for clarifying the annual increases. It's 8% b/w Y1 & 2, not every yr so it's $143M. Still a ton of pic.twitter.com/WlnSoXVYWg— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) July 1, 2017
Aldridge also wrote that there are other teams lining up for Porter’s services. He’s entertaining those pitches this weekend:
Otto Porter will take visits this weekend. Max offers out there 4 RFA. Wiz say they’ll match. If so, not sure why they don’t make deal now.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 1, 2017
It remains to be seen which specific teams Porter will speak with. But these would be the teams that have the most room under the salary cap — and probably aren’t in line to re-sign multiple major core players (ex - the Warriors have $38.3 million in salary, but that’s before Stephen Curry’s five-year supermax contract and Kevin Durant’s pending renewal.
These are the current team salaries for selected teams before new contracts are signed per HoopsHype.com:
- Philadelphia 76ers ($38 million)
- Sacramento Kings ($38.8 million)
- Chicago Bulls ($56.7 million)
- Denver Nuggets ($57.6 million)
- Dallas Mavericks ($59.7 million)
- Atlanta Hawks ($61 million)
- Brooklyn Nets ($67.5 million)
Most of the team on this list didn’t make the playoffs last year. And in the Hawks’ case, it looks like they’re about to hit the reset button. Porter can certainly find a max option with a team like the Nets or Nuggets because they aren’t playoff teams at the moment. But if he wants to get paid and play winning basketball, the Wizards remain a more enticing option.
My hope is that the Wizards just sign Porter to the max now, even though they have publicly stated that they will max any offer sheet he signs.
Porter fits the Wizards’ system well. Paul George is off the table. Blake Griffin has decided to stay with the Clippers. And I’m not a fan of trading a young player whose whole prime is ahead of him for a veteran (like Carmelo Anthony) who’s only going to decline when the Wizards have him.
There’s no need to hold this out further, or risk making Porter feel unwanted when the “sexy options” are gone. Just allowing the Nets to have Porter sign an offer sheet that gets matched the next day also sends the wrong message in my opinion.. Let’s get this deal done and get ready for this fall.