June 27, 2017, 5:46 pm
With NBA free agency less than a week away, rumors and speculation have already begun swirling. Boston continues to chase a star player, Cleveland looks to add the ‘missing piece’ and Denver seems to be interested in every top-tier player on the market. But where do the Kings stand in all of this? They currently posses the most cap space in the league with around $52 million but how do they intend to spend all of that money?
One option is Otto Porter and he not only fills a major need, but is also just 24-years-old so offering him a max or near max-deal wouldn’t be too risky for a team in their current position. In 80 games with the Wizards last season, Porter posted averages of 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.6 minutes per game on 51.6 percent shooting from the field (43.4 percent from three).
Porter made strides last season after struggling in his first two years in the NBA, but he broke out during the 2016-17 season posting career-highs in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage. In other words, his production was up across the board.
One thing that has hindered him throughout his young career are injuries, more specifically a bothersome hip injury. Through his first four seasons he was sidelined multiple times with right hip problems and it seems to be somewhat of a chronic issue for him which is concerning for both the Wizards, and any teams that are potentially interested in signing Porter this summer.
The hip soreness hasn’t caused him to miss large chunks of time as he’s played in at least 73 games in each of his last three seasons, but it’s just serious enough to give teams some caution on that size of a deal.
Teams like the Kings (if interested) will certainly do their homework before offering a guy like Porter big-time money so it’s not too much of a concern if it does pan out that way. It’s just something to keep in mind when making a case for the former third overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Another factor to consider is that Washington does have the right to match any offer signed by Porter after the Wizards extended a $7.7 million qualifying offer to him on Monday. Due to the fact that they own his Bird Rights they can go over the cap to match an offer but in doing so it could force them into the luxury tax (dependent on the Wizards’ other signings). This is one reason why they may feel inclined to let him walk if they manage to snag someone more suitable via trade or free agency.
Which leads us to this.
ESPN’s Marc Spears released a report on Monday which detailed John Wall‘s efforts to lure Paul George to the Wizards. Wall “hopes that George will pursue a trade to the nation’s capital” and one noteworthy aspect of this is that George plays the same position as Wizards’ free-agent-to-be Otto Porter.
Wall had this to say regarding the Wizards and his pursuit of Paul George (via ESPN):
“Look at our team. We are one piece away,” Wall said. “We have the point guard, we have the shooting guard, we have the center, we have the power forward. Our 3-man [Otto Porter Jr.] did great for us. You can’t take nothing away from what he did. But [George] is a guy that can guard LeBron and go back at LeBron. It’s a piece that you’re going to need to win. If you don’t have a guy who can do that, you don’t have a chance.”
“You got to add another star. You got to add another piece. You got to have three guys. And that’s what it’s looking like.”
From this quote it has become quite clear where Wall views the current Wizards roster. While he did mention Porter directly, he talked about him in a way where he can be upgraded and if your Porter reading this how would you feel? Does the Wizards front office feel the same? Time will tell and we will likely know exactly where Washington stands this weekend.
What is inevitable is that Otto Porter will sign an offer sheet with another team, but with who? The Kings seem like a natural fit for the former Georgetown standout as he brings shooting, defense and upside at just 24-years-old, but will they take a gamble on his troublesome hip?
For Sacramento, taking a gamble like this is warranted in their current situation. If the Wizards really are ready to move on from Porter then the Kings should be the first in line to throw money at him. It does make sense for the Kings but the fate of Porter does lie firmly in Washington’s hands; for now anyway.