WASHINGTON — The Washington Wizards said they would match any offer sheet for restricted free agent Otto Porter Jr., and on Saturday night they made good on that promise, matching the $106 million offer from the Brooklyn Nets.
In doing so, the Wizards match the dollar amount and a few strange contractual agreements that were intended to act as poison pills of the Wizards to avoid. Here are some of the reported stipulations:
- A fourth-year player option
- A 15 percent trade kicker
- He gets paid half of his annual salary on October 1
Porter originally signed the deal with Brooklyn on Thursday, July 6, opening up a 48-hour window with which to match or reject the deal. The Wizards reportedly used most or all of it, strategically (via Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post):
Wizards intend to take their time doing so, forcing the Nets to sit around for four extra days with their cap space tied up because of the offer. In addition to the two days the Wizards have to match Porter’s offer initially, there also is a two-day window in which Porter will need to report to the team and be given a physical, and another two-day window after that for the team to announce he has passed the physical.
In other words, the Wizards have done what they need to do, but don’t expect this deal to be announced for several more days. Instead, the Wizards will leave the Nets in salary cap limbo as free agency rages on.
During a Wizards Summer League broadcast, coach Scott Brooks shared his feelings on Porter. Even though he could not specifically comment on the negotiations, he left little doubt of where he and the franchise stand on Porter.
“I love Otto. I love Otto. He’s a big part of our team,” he said, speaking in the present tense. “He brings a lot of what he brings. He’s a winning basketball player. He brings toughness, hhe can guard multiple positions and this year was a great surprise for me.”
Brooks was candid about how Porter’s skill set is more than he bargained for when accepting the head job.
“I had coached against him in the past and didn’t realize how great of a shooter he was. or is,” he said of Porter. “He’s a knockdown 45 percent three-point shooter, which is big in this league.”
If Porter continues to develop as a perimeter shooter, then the worst part about this deal is that the Wizards could lose him after three years of service with the player option, instead of a four or five-year deal.
In retaining Porter now, however, the team also loses out on Bojan Bogdanovic. The team rescinded the qualifying offer extended to the 2017 trade acquisition, allowing him to sign a multi-year deal with the Indiana Pacers.
This is the third major contract on the Wizards’ books, joining John Wall (2014, five years / $84,789,500) and Bradley Beal (2016, five years / $127,171,313), and leaves the Wizards looking at a luxury cap hit. Porter is now the highest paid player on the team, expected to make nearly $25 million this season.
With Porter retained and Wall now the third-highest paid member of the team (slightly more than $18 million), expect Wall to sign his mega contract extension this summer.