It’s been an open secret for over a week that the Wizards are open for trade talks, but it’s been unclear what teams would be interested in Washington’s assets. The first suitors up appear to be the Sacramento Kings, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic.
Should Washington decide to break up its underpeforming team, the Kings would love to be in line to snatch up Porter in a fire sale. The Kings have liked Porter for some time. A contingent from the front office traveled to the East Coast to meet with Porter when he was a restricted free agent in 2017.
The Kings’ interest is understandable given their issues at small forward, but finding a trade package that works for both parties is tricky, depending on what Washington wants back in a deal. Sacramento has plenty of expiring contracts to offer, and they’re under the cap so they don’t need to fully match salaries to make a deal work.
Problem is, if the Wizards want young assets or veterans who can help it gets more difficult. Kosta Koufos could help fill the void at center while Dwight Howard is out, and Iman Shumpert can give you a little bit of 3-and-D in a pinch, but neither comes close to approaching Porter’s current value.
The Kings don’t have much to offer in terms of future assets either. They owe their first round pick to either the 76ers or Celtics, and most of their prospects are either untouchable (Marvin Bagley and DeAaron Fox) or playing at guard (Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield), where they wouldn’t provide a lot of value behind John Wall and Bradley Beal. Even a guy like Wille Cauley-Stein is tricky because he would help in the frontcourt, but then he’s a restricted free agent this summer like Kelly Oubre Jr.
If Washington is just willing to settle for salary cap relief, there’s no better place to look than Sacramento. However, if they’re trying to find a way to retool around Wall and Beal, it’s going to be a lot harder to do that when they’re giving away their third-best player for salary cap relief, especially since it still doesn’t get them close to being a major spender in free agency. Even if they get Porter off the books, the Wizards still have $89.1 million committed for next season just to Wall, Beal, Ian Mahinmi, Dwight Howard, and Troy Brown Jr. which means they wouldn’t have enough space to sign a free agent to a max deal.