That loud sigh of relief everyone just heard was DC’s Washington Wizard fan base exhaling with the news that their prized free agent, Otto Porter, would not be signing with the Brooklyn Nets. Instead, Otto is choosing to sign with the team that he helped build into a contender in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards. This deal will make Porter the highest paid player on the Wizards squad.
Really, this deal came down to a few major details. Zach Randolph and George Hill each signed lucrative contracts, taking the Kings out of the running for signing Porter. This type of “business decision” makes sense for both Otto and the Wizards’ front office, since Otto fills a glaring starting role need at the small forward position, and Otto gets the max contract he was seeking during free agency.
Where do the Washington Wizards turn their attention to now that they know that Otto Porter is rounding out their starting five? Unfortunately, they do not have much cap space to work with considering this signing, the potential extension of John Wall, and Bradley Beal’s previously accepted max contract as well. Instead, GM Ernie Grunfeld must find a way to improve a bench that ultimately was not good enough to hold on and advance versus the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
As previously written, on The Winning Take, Otto Porter’s contract situation has a variety of ripple effects that need to be addressed moving forward.
- With multiple players on the roster taking big cap hits, adding Porters contract to the mix will severely affect Washington’s cap situation moving forward. Porter’s payday is very risky, but it may turn out to help in the long run.
- The Wizards are just one of three NBA teams that have never paid the luxury tax. However, as the Wizards decide to match the offer, the Wizards will become a tax paying team.
For now, DC fans can revel in the fact that one of their home-grown prized free agents did not leave town, and they can move on knowing they took a necessary risk for being a true and steady contender in the East. Many fans may question if Otto was worth the price, and the only clear answer is: possibly.