The Wizards were able to unload the remaining three years and $19 million on the contract of Drew Nicholson in their trade with the Nets, and that money figures to be useful this summer when Otto Porter becomes a restricted free agent. Porter has improved steadily in his four NBA seasons, and the Wizards intend to re-sign him. Sources indicated that there were inquiries about Washington’s willingness to deal Porter throughout the year, but the Wiz were not interested. There will be suitors for Porter—the Suns and Nets are expected to be among them—which could push Porter’s price tag near the max. But Washington still intends to keep him.
David Aldridge: Getting rid of Nicholson, who wasn't in rotation/3 yrs left on deal, creates potential room 4 Wiz to re-sign Otto Porter (RFA) this summer. Wiz will almost certainly be a tax paying team soon once/if they re-sign Porter (big $), but mitigate some of the bill by moving Nicholson.
Many feel Porter could garner a max deal, which could be tough for the Wizards to match. They have $97 million on the books for next season, not including the salaries of Porter or Trey Burke. Would owner Ted Leonsis — a hard-liner in past negotiations — be willing to have Beal, Porter and John Wall all on max deals? The Nets should hope the answer is no.
Otto Porter, who had 12 points and four boards, is set to be a restricted free agent. The feeling in Washington is the Wizards small forward will be of interest to Nets general manager Sean Marks, who is 0-3 trying to land restricted free agents.
Matt Moore: Otto Porter (?!) is averaging 15-8 with two steals, shooting 54% from the field and 41% from 3-point range. Zach Lowe: Two front office execs in last 24 hours predicted to me he's getting a max. He's been really good.
"We had conversations but we want Otto here long-term," Grunfeld told CSNmidatlantic.com on Wednesday, before the regular-season home opener with the Toronto Raptors. "We like Otto. We really like what he brings to the table. He’s a really good player that meshes well with John (Wall) and Brad (Beal) who like to have the ball in their hands. Otto cuts and spots up and he does a lot of little things. He makes a lot of winning plays that don’t show up in the boxscore. Our intention is in the offeseason is to have Otto signed and have him here long-term."
"We like everything about him. Great character, very hard worker, very low key, does everythng behind the scenes," Grunfeld said. "I talked to Otto and let him know that he’s very important to us and we expect him to continue to work hard, continue to improve and continue to contribute to what we’re tyring to do."
The writing had been on the wall for quite some time that Otto Porter would go into this season without an extension to his rookie scale contract, but his approach hasn't been any different. While a player being in a contract year can cause chemistry issues for some teams, that's not the case with Porter. "It's definitely a factor depending on who that is," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "I've been on teams where that guy was in his contract year but was not a team guy. You knew he was going for numbers. ... With our guy, Otto, he's a team guy. He's a winner. I would never worry about him. He plays the right way. He plays for his team. He makes a lot of winning basketball plays. I love coaching him. Going forward, that would not even cross my mind. That's not going to cross his mind. He's going to play hard and do what he has always done."
For his part, Porter, a meek and unassuming small forward who avoided the AAU circuit en route to becoming an elite prospect, doesn't care about any of the chatter. He'll likely become a restricted free agent next summer provided the Wizards make him a $7.7 million qualifying offer to retain the first right of refusal. "I'm just focused on basketball. I let my agent deal with all that," said Porter, who is represented by David Falk. "He's going to make it easy on me."
J. Michael Falgoust: Talked to Porter about likelihood of being restricted next summer. So not concerned about it (and he shouldn't be) #WizardsTalk
David Aldridge: At the moment extensions not looking likely for Otto Porter, Kelly Olynyk, Mason Plumlee, per sources.
Otto Porter appears likely to become a restricted free agent next summer, with no movement towards an extension to his rookie scale contract with the Wizards before starting the 2016-17 season, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com. Porter, drafted No. 3 overall in 2013, would end up like Bradley Beal a year ago when he didn’t work out a deal with the Wizards still owning the first right of refusal to retain his services. They acted quickly on Beal by signing him to a $128 million deal over five years this summer that will be made official later today or Wednesday.
May 20, 2022 | 8:25 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive teams: First team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mikal Bridges, Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marcus Smart Second team: Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Matisse Thybulle, Robert Williams III
Bobby Marks: Robert Williams has a $223,215 bonus as part of his rookie extension. However, because Williams is still in the fourth year of his rookie scale contract, the bonus is not earned. The bonus is now deemed likely and his cap hit for 2022-23 is adjusted to $10,937,502.
Melissa Rohlin: Gary Payton II (fractured left elbow) has started to do various light individual on-court activities and will be re-evaluated in one week. Andre Iguodala (disc injury in his neck) continues to show progress and an update will come when he’s cleared to practice.
May 20, 2022 | 7:27 pm EDT Update
The Lakers appear poised to make a decision on their coaching position soon, with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts the finalists for the job that became vacant when Frank Vogel was fired at season’s end. But as the final round of interviews is set, sources tell The Athletic that Ham appears to have made the strongest impression yet.
In terms of the Lakers’ preferences, sources say team officials have prioritized a coach who can command respect and authority from the locker room and who has a strong enough presence and voice to manage the varying roles and relationships across the roster. Those characteristics bode well for Ham’s candidacy. Throughout assistant coaching stops with the Lakers, Hawks and Bucks, Ham has been known for his no-nonsense style and ability to resonate with his players — attributes that have stood out in his communication with the Lakers thus far as well, sources said.