The Mavericks have expressed interest in trading for Wizards forward Otto Porter, league sources told The Athletic.
Wizzzzards (when said team already has a ‘z’ in its name, adding additional ‘z’s reflects the dysfunction being discussed): No team has been accused of falling short of expectations for longer than Washington, and a 5-11 start was enough to spark a no-punches-pulled practice session on Nov. 20 in which players’ frustrations flew all over the floor. Yet while the Wizards’ front office has been open to discussing any and all members of their core, their Dec. 16 trade with Phoenix for Trevor Ariza signaled (once again) a pivot toward prioritizing playoff contention rather than rebuilding (and no, we’re not going into even bother getting into the tale of two Brookses). For all the focus on the idea of John Wall (too expensive) or Bradley Beal (too good) being traded, it’s small forward Otto Porter who appears most likely to be dealt before the Feb. 7 deadline.
Though the Kings may have interest in Porter, the Wizards maintain their stance that they are not looking to trade him, according to a person familiar with the situation. That means no plans to ship him to Sacramento or anywhere else.
NBC Sports California can confirm an earlier report that the Kings have kept in contact with the Washington Wizards in regards to the availability of small forward Otto Porter. Nothing is imminent, but according to the league source, the Kings definitely like the potential fit with the six-year pro if the deal was right.
As the Kings try to put the issues between coach Dave Joerger and assistant general manager Brandon Williams behind them, the front office continues to look at options to improve the roster. League sources said the Kings are closely monitoring the Washington Wizards with an eye on making a play for forward Otto Porter Jr.
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. Porter opted to sign an offer sheet with Brooklyn instead of the Kings. That four-year, $106 million deal was matched by Washington. The Kings still haven’t filled their need for a small forward since missing out on Porter. Joerger has started guard Iman Shumpert at small forward most of the season.
Trading Porter and his $26 million salary isn’t easy, though. Houston would have to give up both Knight and Eric Gordon just to make the salaries work, and that would just mean sacrificing backcourt depth to shore up the frontcourt. That’s why Oubre has to be included, and why a deal suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. Says a front-office source: “What if they upgrade the length and passing element of Gordon and get younger at the same time? Porter is a much better matchup in a Golden State series for both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. The optionality of Oubre as a 23-year-old restricted free agent at the end of the season is vitally important— important enough that some of picks you were going to put into play in a Butler deal might be better used here.”
Porter has a big contract, but, as a good shooter and long-limbed defender, is the kind of supplementary player teams might want. But the Wizards have tried to use him, and Kelly Oubre Jr., as chips in trades for a third star to pair with Wall and Beal in the past, and have always come up empty.
In talking with people around the league, it’s clear that Beal’s value stands high and above Porter’s or Wall’s. Beal has three years and $81 million remaining on his contract, including this season, generally considered fair value.
While Otto Porter Jr.'s name has been attached to multiple rumors, there has been little traction on any deal involving him, according to several people with knowledge of the situation. The doubt surrounding the availability of Porter, who re-signed with Washington in 2016 for a maximum contract, casts more uncertainty on the Wizards' openness to even discuss Wall or Beal.
Washington had hopes that forwards Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre could be centerpieces of deals that could return an impact third star, but those players have fetched minimal interest on the market. Porter has a massive contract on the books, including three years, $81 million left.
There are whispers that New Orleans is interested in Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr., who is in the second year of an enormous four-year, $106.5 million contract.
“I think they’ve had enough time, but they really haven’t (broken) through,” Dudley said. “I can see by the All-Star break or summer time one of these pieces moving. It’s going to be good for them. If it’s John, or Otto or Brad, one of them three, I think their next move is going to be good for both teams."
Word is the Wolves did try to engage Washington — another team falling well short of expectations — in trade talks for the sharpshooting guard Bradley Beal. But the Wizards have kept Beal off limits amid their 4-9 start. They would naturally prefer to trade the struggling Otto Porter, or perhaps even John Wall, but both possess hard-to-move contracts. My pal Zach Lowe at ESPN recently did a deep dive on just how hard Wall will be to trade once his "supermax" contract extension kicks in next season.
The Wizards value Porter, without a doubt. Though the organization did not extend a deal to him when he was a restricted free agent last summer and decided to keep Porter by matching the Brooklyn Nets' player-friendly offer sheet, whenever other teams call to inquire about the lanky swingman, the Wizards quickly end those conversations, according to several league sources.
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.
They Clippers have called about almost every available small forward type, but no one is in a rush to take Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, and a distant first-round pick. That won't get them Wilson Chandler, and the Wiz threw their phones on the floor when the Clippers inquired about Otto Porter, per league sources.
dylan (11-29): Have you heard anything on Otto Porter? Do you think Wizards match everything up to max salary? - Steve Kyler: They say they intend to pay him. They are not looking at trade scenarios with him.
In talking to multiple persons with knowledge of the situation as recent as Wednesday afternoon, the Wizards remain determined to keep their core intact which means Beal stays put with John Wall, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat, Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter.
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.