According to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington on Tuesday, the Wizards will extend a qualifying offer of about $3.6 million to Bobby Portis who is entering restricted free agency. This move is procedural since it allows Washington to go above the salary cap to match an offer sheet for him.
There are no shortage of teams who are interested in him. Hughes noted that “Portis is expected to draw interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and Knicks.” With the exception of the Bucks, all of these teams have less than $100 million in committed salaries, well under the 2019-20 projected salary cap of $109 million. And most of these teams are looking to sign at least one free agent with a maximum level salary.
The Wizards have about $90 million in committed salaries which doesn’t sound too bad considering their circumstances. But they have to determine whether to pick up Jabari Parker’s $20 million team option which would put them above the cap. And Washington still has to determine whether they would like to re-sign other key free agents like Tomas Satoransky.
And of course, about $54 million is committed to John Wall ($38.15 million) and Ian Mahinmi ($16 million) next season. Wall is out for most or all of next season and Mahinmi just hasn’t been playable.
Ultimately, the Wizards would probably like to keep Portis, but many NBA teams have a lot of cap space to pay him a salary that Washington doesn’t want to take given their current financial situation. I wouldn’t mind seeing Portis back, but I’m also skeptical if Washington can keep him.