The Washington Wizards are apparently feeling lucky.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reports on Friday that the Wizards would “likely” deal forward Otto Porter plus one protected pick to rent Paul George for a year.
The 24-year-old Porter, an up-and-coming 3-and-D combo forward, is a restricted free agent this offseason, so for now, any deal involving him would have to be of the sign-and-trade variety. Meanwhile, the longer the Indiana Pacers wait to trade George, the lower his trade value will presumably get (as we are beginning to see).
The Wizards came within one win of an Eastern Conference Finals berth last season, and swinging such a trade for George, rental or not, would prevent them from having to commit major long-term money to Porter, keeping the books clear for future free agent pursuits. Does the team want to go all-in now as franchise player John Wall enters his prime or are they looking to plan for the next several years with Porter as a core member instead? That’s the question that may ultimately determine their course of action here.
The Brooklyn Nets may be putting their radar on Otto Pilot this offseason.
Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports on Thursday that the Nets are expected to go after “some max salary restricted free-agent wings” in the summer, including forward Otto Porter of the Washington Wizards.
Porter, 23, is averaging career-highs this season with 13.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game on 51.6 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from deep (fourth in the NBA among qualified players). Also a stellar defender (despite what seasons past might lead you to believe), the former No. 3 overall pick has really come into his own in his fourth year in the league and is putting up those numbers despite being a fourth option on the Wizards.
Lewis also notes the Nets’ interest in Detroit Pistons swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (which had previously been reported) and even suggests they could target another Wizards wing in Bojan Bogdanovic, who they just traded there two months ago, if Washington matches their offer sheet for Porter. All things considered, it sounds like a solid offseason plan for Brooklyn as they look to acquire a tertiary offensive threat beyond the perimeter play of Jeremy Lin and the post play of Brook Lopez.
Gentlemen, rev up your rivalry engines because we may have a new one brewing in the Eastern Conference.
After Washington’s 117-108 loss to Boston on Wednesday, Wizards forward Otto Porter called out the Celtics for being a dirty team.
“We’ve had some past history the last couple of years with those guys,” Porter said, per J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “They’re a physical team. They try to play dirty. They try to take you out your game. Their whole team. That’s just how they try to play.”
Porter’s comments came in the aftermath of a heated confrontation between Wizards point guard John Wall and Celtics forward Jae Crowder shortly after the final buzzer sounded (video here).
The Celtics have a number of rugged one-on-on defenders on their team (Crowder, Marcus Smart, Amir Johnson, Avery Bradley, etc.) and that can rub opponents the wrong way as Wednesday’s game clearly demonstrated. The two sides have a couple more meetings this season (January 24 in Washington and March 20 in Boston), so be sure to have your popcorn ready.
Otto Porter hit the snooze button while playing defense on Tony Snell at the end of the Wizards-Bulls game Tuesday and completely embarrassed himself in the process.
Porter was assigned to Snell but was also on alert in case he needed to play help defense against Aaron Brooks. Porter tried to keep one eye on Brooks and one eye on Snell, but Snell caught him in the middle of a look at Brooks and zoomed around to the other wing.
By the time Porter noticed that he’d lost Snell, the Bulls guard had a wide open look at a 3-pointer that he clanked off the iron. The Wizards were down 95-92 at that point and still had a shot at winning. Unfortunately for them, a foul put Pau Gasol on the line, and he made two free throws to give Chicago a 97-92 win.