Pros and Cons of an Otto Porter Offer Sheet

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: Otto Porter Jr.
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: Otto Porter Jr. /
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WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 07: Otto Porter Jr.
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 07: Otto Porter Jr. /


  1. Demonstrates Free Agent Interest

Porter, an above-average basketball player, is actually willing to play for Nets while the team is in this state. Yes, miraculously it is true. Porter picked the Nets over a likely smaller offer from Utah after the Jazz lost Gordon Hayward to the Celtics.

This is the first high-ranking free agent to show serious interest in joining the Nets since Deron Williams in 2012. Whatever the reason, Porter saw enough positive attributes with the franchise to feel comfortable signing an offer sheet.

Even if Washington matches the Nets’ offer sheet, it still should be considered a victory for Brooklyn in some aspects. Players talk to one another; especially ones that are entering free agency. They likely each want to hear about which teams gave respectable pitches, even if the player ultimately did not end up on that team. After all, there’s a reason why the Knicks over-payed Tim Hardaway Jr. with its open cap space.

This type of interest can sometimes go a long way in recruiting future free agents. For example, there could be a strong correlation between the Nuggets pursuit of Dwayne Wade in 2016, and the team eventually landing four-time All-Star Paul Millsap this July. Wade had nothing but the utmost respect for Denver following their front office’s pitch to him. By no coincidence, the Nuggets have become an extremely attractive destination for free agents this summer. Perhaps a similar effect could transpire for Brooklyn next summer if they miss out on Porter.

In the Nets’ books, convincing Porter to sign the offer sheet should be considered a step right in the direction.

  1. Fit

There are few other 6-9 wings who have an elite stroke from the behind the arc and can defend multiple positions. These are characteristics that head coach Kenny Atkinson should value given his contemporary schemes.

Porter was fifth in the NBA in three-point percentage and third among players who attempted four threes or more a contest last season. He would fit perfectly on a team that attempted the fourth-most threes a game. Porter would also help a team with the fourth-worst shooting percentage from behind the arc.

The possibility of a Lin-Russell-LeVert-Porter-Mozgov lineup would stretch the floor and be able to get up and down the court. Whether as a small ball four or a three matching up against elite wing scorers, Porter’s 7-0 wingspan allows him fit in wherever needed.

In a breakout season, Porter demonstrated that he can match up against the league’s best teams in crunch-time. He excelled in the Wizards’ hard fought second-round loss to the top seeded Boston Celtics. Porter guarded two of the grittiest wings in the East in Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder for 36 minutes a night and still kept up his offensive performance. He shot 57% from the field in the Eastern Conference Semifinals while averaging 14.1 points a contest. When Brooklyn one day returns to the postseason, Atkinson should feel at ease potentially having a player who participated in high-stakes situations.

Culture wise, Porter would only add to the strong base that the Nets’ new regime has built. He may be one of the only players in the NBA who was his high school’s history club’s president. In the classroom, he also finished as salutatorian of his high school’s graduating class. His often-calm demeanor fails to represent his fierce work ethic on the court. Coaches, dating back to his high schools days, have only had positive things to say. One coach, who refers to Porter as “Bubba,” said, “Bubba loves to work because that’s all he knows.”

  1. Another One Bites the Dust

The Nets have been known for wreaking havoc on other teams’ financial flexibility since the Marks era commenced. Washington would be the third team who was affected by an offer sheet from the Nets in the past year if it matched.

When the Trail Blazers opted to the match the Nets’ fat offer sheet to Allen Crabbe, it gave them one of the highest team salaries in the NBA. Portland is essentially locked into their low seed-caliber squad for at least the next two seasons as a result. The Heat, who matched Brooklyn’s large offer sheet for Tyler Johnson last summer, are currently financially stable. However, Miami is due to pay the former Fresno State Bulldog 19.2$ million in the 2018-2019 season. Pat Riley’s team would’ve had max cap room next summer if not for the Johnson contract.

Finally, the Nets’ next culprit could very well be Ernie Grunfeld, and the Wizards’ long-term financial situation. The Wizards would be locked into nearly $120 million in salary for next season if they match Porter’s offer sheet. Their core of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Porter would be locked in. Herein lies the biggest con of the Wizards matching on Porter.

Having this core for the next two seasons is probably not getting the Wizards past the likes of Boston or Cleveland. Allowing Porter to walk, in addition to making some moves to free up more space, would put Washington in the ballpark to attract a max level free agent next summer. However, if reports out of Washington’s camp are accurate, then it appears as though Scott Brooks and company feel this core can make some noise in the Eastern Conference.

For the Nets, this scenario could generate some benefits next summer. The league could go into next summer with over half of its teams at or over the salary cap. With next year’s rich free agent crop, the Nets could be one of the only teams to play with max cap space if Porter returns to the Wizards. These offer sheets, combined with waiting to hand out any long term large contracts themselves could pay dividends for Brooklyn in the coming years.