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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BOSTON, MA – MAY 15: Marcus Smart
BOSTON, MA – MAY 15: Marcus Smart /


  1. Ties up Cap Room

As Zach Lowe pointed out on Twitter, Washington is essentially holding Brooklyn’s cap space “hostage.” If the Wizards were to hold out until the last possible moment to match, which is what often plays out with restricted free agents, then the Nets may miss out on other free agent targets.

Over the past several days, Brooklyn has lost out on rumored targets such as Kelly Olynyk and Hardaway Jr. due to the team’s handicapped cap space. Whether or not the Nets would’ve landed these players with flexibility is debatable. Yet, it is increasingly frustrating to not even have an opportunity to throw out an offer. Olynyk, in particular, signed a contract that the Nets could’ve topped with ease.

The Nets currently cannot use $24 million of their $30+ million in free cap space. If the Wizards match at midnight on Saturday, Marks needs to get the ball rolling on other free agent targets. As currently constituted, the Nets would be trotting out a starting lineup of Jeremy Lin-D’Angelo Russell-Caris LeVert-Rondae Hollis-Jefferson-Timofey Mozgov on opening night this October. Signing another reliable starter or even a few good bench pieces would ensure that the Nets won’t be the worst team in the NBA for the second consecutive season.

  1. Potentially Hurts Long-Term Spending Flexibility

While he could be the small forward of the future for Atkinson’s squad, what can the Nets add around him?

Brooklyn would still have around $8-$10 million in space if the Wizards opt to not match on Porter. This would be enough to sign a reliable rotation player if Marks decides to use that money this summer. However, long-term is where issues arise.

It is unclear at this point what the NBA will set the salary cap at next summer. While some believe that it will rise, this was not the case a few weeks ago when the league set it at a much lower number than expected. As previously mentioned, it is important for Brooklyn to maintain some flexibility heading into next summer given the big names involved.

If Porter becomes a Net, the team will have close to $60 million tied up in money for Mozgov, Andrew Nicholson and Porter alone. This is assuming Jeremy Lin opts out of his $12.5 million player option next year. If so, it would put pressure on Marks to negotiate an expensive extension. Throw in Brooklyn’s rookie scale contracts and thus creates a difficult cap situation.  If the Nets potentially plan on throwing max offer sheets at big name restricted free agents, the need flexibility.

Next: It all starts with Summer League

This is a small wrinkle that could potentially be problematic down the line. Typically, teams only have room to sign one max level free agent who it does not have bird rights on. Would Marks want to spend the money on a guy who is ultimately a third option on a championship team?