Otto Porter

Wizards Don’t Plan Roster Addition To Replace Wall

The Wizards will be without star guard John Wall for about two weeks, but probably won’t make a roster move to replace him, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.

Washington has a roster opening, but coach Scott Brooks told reporters tonight that he does “not anticipate bringing anyone in.” The team has been carrying 14 players since waiving Carrick Felix at the start of the month.

Wall has been diagnosed with inflammation in his left knee and will get platelet-rich plasma injections to try to ease the pain. He received the first one today, along with a viscosupplementation shot (Twitter link). Wall has been dealing with soreness since November 7 in the wake of “knee-to-knee contact” during a game with the Mavericks. His earliest return date is probably December 9 against the Clippers in Los Angeles (Twitter link).

Brooks said he hopes rest, along with the injections, will “calm the knee down” enough for Wall to return by then (Twitter link). He added that “guys are ready to play bigger roles,” specifically Otto Porter and Markieff Morris, who has been taken off his minutes limit (Twitter link).

Southeast Notes: Oubre, Payne, Porter

The Wizards have benefited from third-year swingman Kelly Oubre‘s energy so far this season and the 21-year-old is earning a more substantial role with the squad, Chris Gehring of the team’s official site writes.

On a team built around core trio John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, Oubre has managed to average 11.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and almost a block per game since sliding into the starting lineup. That spot in the first unit may not last but the impact Oubre’s had on the team could.

He has the ability, and at times last year it went up and down. But he hasn’t had those dips yet this year, though it’s early,” head coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s definitely improved with all of the hard work he put in.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • After going 15th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, Adreian Payne‘s NBA opportunities have come few and far between. Now a member of the Magic, the Michigan State product is excited to earn another shot. “I haven’t really gotten a chance to play the whole time I’ve been in the NBA,” Payne told Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. “Being able to spend some time down in the G League, to work on my game, to get better, to just be able to become a better person and a better player, on the court and off the court. I think it is going to help me grow, and then when I get called up and be able to play with the Magic team, I’ll be that Adreian that I was when I was in college.”
  • Don’t expect the Hornets to make a play for somebody like Eric Bledsoe, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. A lateral move to add another point guard to the mix alongside Kemba Walker wouldn’t be worth what the Suns would presumably want for him.
  • The Wizards paid big bucks to bring Otto Porter back and, to this point, LeBron James believes he’s earned his $107MM contract. “He’s worked on his game extremely well and he’s earned the big paycheck that he got,” James told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

Players Who Can Veto Trades In 2017/18

No-trade clauses are rare in the NBA, but one such provision has been the subject of much discussion so far in 2017, as Carmelo Anthony made use of his NTC to block the Knicks from sending him to an undesirable destination. For much of the offseason, Anthony was focused on joining the Rockets, but he eventually agreed to a deal that sent him to Oklahoma City.

Anthony is one of just two NBA players whose contract includes an explicit no-trade clause, but there are still several players each year who have the ability to veto trades. A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year deal with an option year – is given no-trade protection, and so is a player who signs an offer sheet and has that offer matched by his previous team. Players who accept qualifying offers after their rookie deals expire can also block deals, though no restricted free agents have signed their QOs so far this year.

Taking into account that list of criteria, here are the players who must give their consent if their teams want to trade them during the 2017/18 league year:

No-trade clauses

Players whose offer sheets were matched

  • Otto Porter (Wizards)
    • Note: Even with his consent, Porter cannot be traded to the Nets during the 2017/18 league year.

Players accepting qualifying offers

Players re-signing for one year (or two years including an option)

In addition to the players listed above who can veto trades through the 2017/18 league year, there’s another small handful of players who can’t be dealt under any circumstance until at least next July. The following players signed a Designated Veteran Extension this season, which precludes them from being traded for a full calendar year:

Information from Basketball Insiders and ESPN was used in the creation of this post.

Wizards Notes: Porter, Max Deals, Wall

Otto Porter re-signed with the Wizards on a massive, four-year, $106MM this offseason. Although he’ll likely remain the third option on the team—behind John Wall and Bradley Beal—owner Ted Leonsis is happy to hand the small forward that kind of deal, as he tells Michael Lee of The Vertical.

“The market spoke, I said, ‘Done,’ ” Leonsis said about Porter’s deal. “There’s not that many transformative free agents out there and a lot of teams are paying a lot of money on free agents and they’re not quite sure how it’s going to work. I felt keeping Otto, maxing Otto, was way lower risk than saying, ‘Let’s let him go and we’ll get someone in free agency.’ I get a lot of emails, a lot of tweets, ‘Cut him loose!’ Oh, really? The coach loves him, teammates love him, he’s one of the best 3-point shooters in the league. Cut him loose? No. That’s not in the plan.”

Here’s more from Washington:

  • The Wizards are the first team to give out three max contracts to players who were drafted and developed by a single franchise, Michael adds in the same piece. Leonsis envisioned this feat for the organization years ago. “For us, if you articulate a strategy of, ‘We’re going to be bad and we’ll get high draft picks,’ and you realize NBA players come into their prime at 26, 27 years old, you’re hoping that this happens,” Leonsis said. “The worst thing that happens, you use a high pick, he’s a restricted free agent and you’re debating, ‘Do we want to keep him? Is he worth that?’ I said, ‘We want to be a ‘have’ team. ‘Have’ teams do whatever they want.”
  • Wall and Wizards have a partnership that’s rare in today’s NBA, Chase Hughes of Comcast Sportsnet contends. Hughes argues that the point guard has a devotion to the franchise as well as the City of Washington that’s isn’t typical with the current free agency landscape. Wall recently agreed to a four-year, $170MM extension with the team.

Celtics Officially Sign Gordon Hayward

JULY 14: Ten days after Hayward made his decision, he has formally signed his new maximum salary contract with the Celtics, the team confirmed today in a press release. Boston cleared the necessary cap room earlier today by waiving Jordan Mickey.gordonhayward vertical

JULY 4: Gordon Hayward has made it official. In a piece for The Players’ Tribune, Hayward has announced that he has decided to join the Celtics as a free agent. Hayward will receive a four-year maximum salary contract from Boston with a player option on the final year, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter links).

“After seven years in Utah, I have decided to join the Boston Celtics,” Hayward writes. “I know that will be tough to hear for Jazz fans — and I really want you all to know that you mean the world to me and my family. Over the past few days, I’ve been genuinely torn. And I know that this process isn’t easy on the fans, either. So I just want to be as straight-up as possible about why I’m coming to Boston.

“There were so many great things pulling me in that direction,” Hayward continued. “There was the winning culture of Boston, as a city — from the Sox, to the Pats, to the Bruins. There was the special history of the Celtics, as a franchise — from Russell, to Bird, to Pierce, and it goes on. There was the amazing potential of this current Celtics roster, as a team — from ownership, to the front office, to a talented roster with Isaiah, and Al, and everyone else. And of course, there was Coach [Brad] Stevens: Not just for the relationship that we’ve built off the court — but also for the one that we started building on the court, all of those years ago, in Indiana.”

It has been an eventful day for Hayward, as a report from Chris Haynes of ESPN indicating that Hayward planned to sign with the Celtics was shot down by other outlets, with Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein issuing a statement confirming that his client hadn’t finalized his decision. However, Haynes’ scoop proved accurate, with Hayward formally announcing his new team a few hours later.

By joining the Celtics, Hayward will be in line for a four-year contract worth $127,829,970, though he may end up not opting into that fourth year. By that point, he’ll have 10 years of NBA experience, which would put him in line for a new max deal worth 35% of the cap instead of his current 30%. That potential desire to opt out after year three reduced the importance of Utah’s ability to offer a fifth year.

Before they finalize the signing of Hayward, the Celtics will have to make a series of salary cap moves to create the necessary cap room for his lucrative new deal. In addition to renouncing their free agents, the C’s figure to pull Kelly Olynyk‘s qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson are candidates to be waived, and Boston will likely have to make at least one trade — Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Terry Rozier, and Jae Crowder are among the candidates to be moved. Teams are already engaging the Celtics on possible deals, tweets Chris Mannix of The Vertical.

By adding Hayward, the Celtics made a big free agent splash for the second straight summer, having signed Al Horford a year ago. The team wasn’t able to land a second star like Jimmy Butler or Paul George via trade, but the reigning No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference has added an All-Star forward in Hayward and the No. 3 overall pick in Jayson Tatum, and still has a collection of future draft picks at its disposal, setting the franchise up very well for the future.

Hayward’s move to the Eastern Conference also comes at a time when most of the league’s stars who are changing teams are heading west. Butler is now in Minnesota, George is headed to Oklahoma City, and Paul Millsap will land in Denver. The talent drain in the East should give Hayward a clearer path to a spot in the NBA Finals, though Boston will still have to overcome LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

As for the other two teams involved in the Hayward sweepstakes, the Jazz are hit the hardest, having lost both Hayward and George Hill today. The team was able to add a replacement for Hill by acquiring Ricky Rubio last week, but replacing Hayward’s production will be much more difficult.

Still, now that they no longer need to accommodate a max deal for Hayward, the Jazz have some options. According to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), Utah has scheduled a meeting with Wizards RFA Otto Porter. However, Utah currently doesn’t have the cap space for a max offer for Porter, and moving contracts to open up that room would be risky, since the Wizards could match any offer.

Meanwhile, the Heat have a chunk of available cap room that they can now use on other players as well. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that Bartelstein, who also reps Miami free agent forward James Johnson, is “working on something” for Johnson and will talk with Pat Riley tonight.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wizards Bring Back Otto Porter

The Wizards have officially matched the offer sheet which was extended to Otto Porter by the Brooklyn Nets, according to the team’s website. The team did not disclose the details of the contract, but it’ll be a four-year, $106.5MM deal, according to a previous report. Otto Porter vertical

“After two years at Georgetown and four years with the Wizards here in Washington, D.C., I’m excited to be staying home,” said Porter. “I want our great fans to know that I will continue to work hard to improve my game in all areas and I hope to make an even bigger contribution to the Wizards’ success in the future.” 

Porter had a career year during the 2016/17 season. He shot 43.4% from long-range, a figure which ranked fourth in the league.

“Otto has developed into a vital part of our young core, which is why we made it clear that our priority was to keep him here to maintain continuity and build on the success of this group heading into next season and beyond,” team president Ernie Grunfeld said. “His versatility, basketball IQ and three-point shooting combine to make him a great fit for us on the floor while his character and work in the community show why we’re so pleased to have him as a cornerstone of our franchise.” 

The deal will reportedly include a 15% trade kicker and a player option for the fourth season. The former No.3 overall pick will also receive half of his salary by October 1st of each year, which is the maximum allowed. Porter is now the team’s highest-paid player.

Western FA Rumors: Lakers, Canaan, Wolves, Kings

After committing all of their remaining cap room, the Lakers continue to debate how to address their point guard spot, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The team has explored possible free agent targets who could be veteran mentors for Lonzo Ball, but with just the $4.3MM room exception remaining, L.A. may no longer have the flexibility to sign some of those players.

Per Shelburne (Twitter link), the Lakers still have Rajon Rondo on their radar, but are debating signing a younger player such as Ian Clark, Tyler Ennis, or Isaiah Canaan for that backup point guard job. It’s not clear whether Rondo and/or Clark would be willing to sign a one-year deal worth the room exception — their respective markets were believed to be more robust, but it’s possible that has changed as free agency nears the two-week mark.

Here are a few more free agency notes from around the Western Conference:

  • Speaking of Isaiah Canaan, his camp has “touched base” with the Timberwolves, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who tweets that Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson are believed to have put in a good word for their former Chicago teammate.
  • The Kings reportedly made a maximum salary offer to Otto Porter earlier in free agency, but J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com hears from multiple sources that there was confusion about whether Sacramento put such an offer sheet on the table. “We just talked,” Kings GM Vlade Divac said of Porter. This may just be an issue of semantics — perhaps the Kings expressed a willingness to go up to the max, but didn’t draw up a formal offer sheet. Porter eventually got his max offer sheet from Brooklyn anyway.
  • The Warriors made quick work of 2017 free agency, retaining virtually all their key players and adding a couple interesting new pieces. However, they’ll face a tricky situation next summer when Patrick McCaw becomes eligible for restricted free agency. Anthony Slater of The Bay Area News Group examines the challenge of McCaw’s looming free agency and speaks to the 21-year-old guard about it.

Southeast Notes: Wall, Porter, Bosh, Muscala, Riley, Ellington

Wizards star point guard John Wall is making no apologies for his aggressive recruitment of Paul George during free agency, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Many observers took Wall’s comments as a slight against the team’s current small forward Otto Porter, but Wall explained his comments in a different way:

“Otto’s going to be a great player for us, a great role player for a lot of teams. There’s a difference between a role player and a superstar. It’s a big difference. There’s a lot teams that will make a lot of trades for a superstar. Look at Kevin Love getting traded for Andrew Wiggins, you never know who that player going to turn out to be.”

Buckner also points out that Wall is not in a rush regarding his own extension. Last season Wall qualified for the designated player exception after making the All-NBA third team. Wall maintained that he’s devoted to the city of Washington and plans to carefully consider whether he wishes to remain a Wizard in the long term. An extension could keep Wall in the District for the next six years.

Here’s what else you should know from the Southeast division:

  • Former Heat star Chris Bosh penned an open letter to the city of Miami, thanking its residents for the past seven years of support. The 33-year-old power forward credited Miamians for showing him “how to stay strong and push through in the toughest moments,” which has “made [him] a better man, the person [he is] today.” In the letter, Bosh did not broach the topics of his current health or his future plans.
  • Hawks big man Mike Muscala viewed his return to Atlanta as a “no-brainer,” writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Last week, Muscala agreed to a two-year, $10MM contract to remain with the Hawks.
  • Heat president Pat Riley opined on various Heat players, with his comments about Wayne Ellington particularly effusive: “It would have killed me to see him go. He committed himself unlike anybody else. And just like James Johnson and Dion [Waiters], changed everything about how he played…And he’s so in, so committed, and he can see what did for himself with our help, and how it improved his game. He’s one of the best catch-and-shoot players in the league.” Riley goes on to mention that the team has Early Bird Rights on Ellington and credits the player’s loss of 20 pounds with yielding many benefits on the court. Ellington’s $6.3MM contract was guaranteed on Friday.

Zach Randolph Signs With Kings

Apr 20, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) dunks the ball during the second quarter against the San Antonio Spurs in game three of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

JULY 10th, 5:58pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

JULY 4th, 12:26pm: The Kings will sign Zach Randolph to a two-year, $24MM deal, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. Both seasons are fully guaranteed, according to David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link).

Randolph, who will turn 36 later this month, spent the past eight years in Memphis. His role with the Grizzlies was diminished this season as he lost his starting job and saw his playing time reduced to about 24 minutes per night.

The Cavaliers had also been linked to Randolph and were reported to be greatly interested in adding the bruising power forward. However, Cleveland is well over the cap and couldn’t have offered nearly as much as Sacramento did.

Today’s signings of Randolph and George Hill leave the Kings with $25.3MM in cap space, posts Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. That will be cut further by the upcoming addition of Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is expected to get $27MM over three years. That doesn’t leave enough for a reported max offer to Otto Porter, so the Kings may have decided to move in a different direction.

In addition to what he provides on the court, Randolph can serve as a mentor to the Kings’ young big men, Willie Cauley-Stein, Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere. For Memphis, it’s the latest move away from their grit-and-grind tradition as veteran guard Tony Allen is also considered unlikely to return.

Sacramento will be the fifth franchise for Randolph, a 16-year veteran who started his career with the Trail Blazers and had brief stints with the Knicks and Clippers.

Wizards Match Offer Sheet For Otto Porter

Otto Porter verticalThe Wizards announced they will match the Nets’ four-year, $106.5MM offer to Otto Porter, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Porter still has to pass a physical before the move becomes official, notes David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link).

Washington had until 11pm Central to decide on the offer sheet, so the Wizards beat the deadline by about two hours. They had vowed to match any offer, even as Porter was negotiating with other teams.

The new contract will make Porter the team’s highest-paid player next season with a $24.8MM salary, Buckner notes. It also pushes Washington above the luxury tax line for the first time ever.

The Wizards have $126.5MM in salary committed for the upcoming season with 13 guaranteed contracts and two non-guaranteed, along with an $11.4MM tax bill, posts Bobby Marks on ESPN Now.

The Nets’ offer to Porter includes a 15% trade kicker and a player option for the fourth year, along with a provision stating that Porter will receive half of his annual salary by October 1st of each year.

By matching, Washington brings backs a key piece of last season’s roster, as Porter appeared in 80 games, all as a starter, and averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per night. He has been with the franchise since being taken with the third pick in the 2013 draft and has been a regular starter for the past two seasons.

For the Nets, it’s the latest in a string of misses in restricted free agency. Over the past 12 months, Brooklyn has submitted offer sheets to Allen Crabbe, Tyler Johnson, Donatas Motiejunas and Porter, and all were matched by their current teams.

Tonight’s decision won’t free up the Nets’ cap room right away. Porter has two days to undergo the team physical, then the Wizards have two more days to report the results to the league. So it’s possible that Brooklyn’s cap situation will not be resolved before Wednesday. Brooklyn will have $28.3MM once the process is complete, Marks posts.

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