Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter has played at an All-Star level this season, which could cause the Brooklyn Nets to pursue him in the summer.
For a few years, fans grew accustomed to seeing Otto Porter sit on Randy Wittman‘s bench as depleted veterans got the nod ahead of the developing forward.
As a Georgetown Hoya, Porter grew his game inside the Verizon Center, becoming the third overall pick in 2013, but then was immediately subjected to the head coach’s stubborn nature upon entering the league.
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It’s taken Porter some time – three years, in fact – to become adjusted to the speed of the NBA, but breakout games in the NBA Playoffs have propelled him to have two consecutive career-seasons.
This season, Porter has been the Washington Wizards‘ most efficient player. He’s averaging roughly 14 points and 7 rebounds per game while knocking down 55 percent of his total shots, including 44 percent of his looks from beyond the 3-point arc.
Porter, who lacked assertiveness early in his career, has blossomed into one of the league’s brightest young players.
His start in the nation’s capital, at least professionally, wasn’t necessarily ideal, but Porter has cemented his role in the team’s core.
His play this season has been enough to earn Porter a spot in the Wizards’ franchise for the future, but that won’t stop some teams from attempting to pry him away.
Washington didn’t reach a contract extension with Porter last summer, opting instead to see him expand his game before committing to his long-term future in D.C.
The sample size, given how little he played during the first few years of his career, wasn’t enough for the Washington Wizards to reach a deal with Porter.
But now that he’s playing at an All-Star level, there’s no question that the Wizards will attempt to keep him around for as long as possible.
Following the conclusion of the 2016-17 NBA season, Porter will become an unrestricted free agent – meaning, the Wizards will have an opportunity to match any deal he receives in the off-season.
Unless his play declines sharply, there’s a strong chance that Porter will receive a max contract offer.
Teams that lack draft picks, like the Brooklyn Nets, have attempted to steal free agents in the past.
According to the New York Post‘s Brian Lewis, the Washington Wizards believe the Nets will have interest in signing Porter, as they’ve attempted to lure restricted free agents before.
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.
The Nets traded multiple first-round picks to the Boston Celtics several years ago in a deal that landed them Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
The blockbuster deal was supposed to catapult the Nets into contender status, but the team hasn’t reaped the rewards from the trade. Currently, the team is on pace to finish in the bottom three in the Eastern Conference.
For the Nets to rebound, they have to reconstruct their roster. Since they don’t have picks, free agency is their only outlet for improvement.
Porter would instantly become the team’s best player and would fit into the Nets’ changing culture.