The Wizards make the ex­pected of­fi­cial, match of­fer for Otto Porter Jr.


In what has been the most anti-cli­mac­tic story line of free agency, Otto Porter Jr. will re­turn to the Wash­ing­ton Wizards.

The Wizards matched Porter’s four-year, $106.5 mil­lion max­i­mum con­tract of­fer sheet from the Brook­lyn Nets on Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to a league source.

The deal comes into ef­fect for the up­com­ing 2017-18 sea­son, in which Porter will make $24.8 mil­lion and be­come the team’s high­est-paid player. With this con­tract, the Wizards will ex­ceed the lux­ury tax line for the first time in franchise his­tory.

Per NBA rules, Porter has 48 hours to re­port to the team to take his phys­i­cal. From there, the Wizards have an­other 48 hours to file the process to the league. So the deal may not be fi­nal­ized un­til Wed­nes­day evening.

Porter found plenty of in­ter­est as a re­stricted free agent and ul­ti­mately agreed to an of­fer sheet from the Nets. El­e­ments of the deal in­clude a 15 per­cent trade kicker, a player op­tion for the fourth year and a wrin­kle that half of Porter’s an­nual salary will be de­liv­ered to him by Oct. 1 ev­ery year. De­spite th­ese de­tails, the Wizards held stead­fast in their pledge to bring back the 24-year-old Porter.

The team’s con­ti­nu­ity per­sists as its great­est strength be­cause the core play­ers are all un­der con­tract for a min­i­mum of one more sea­son.

Last year, when the start­ing five of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Porter, Marki­eff Mor­ris and Marcin Gor­tat all played, the Wizards earned 43 of the team’s 49 wins. Porter de­vel­oped into a deft spot-up shooter and led the league in three-point field goal per­cent­age for most of the year.

Although Porter’s pro­duc­tion waned af­ter the all-star break, he still fin­ished the sea­son with a .434 shoot­ing per­cent­age from three. Porter also av­er­aged ca­reer bests with 13.4 points, 6.4 re­bounds and 1.5 steals per game.

Oubre re­sumes work­outs

Wizards for­ward Kelly Oubre Jr. par­tic­i­pated in his first full work­out since un­der­go­ing platelet rich plasma in­jec­tions in his right knee.

Oubre had a pri­vate ses­sion with Wizards player de­vel­op­ment coach David Ad­kins and said he com­pleted a full-length work­out in front of Coach Scott Brooks.

“Felt great,” Oubre said. “I haven’t re­ally been do­ing crazy dunk­ing. I’ve dunked like once, but I’ve been pro­gress­ing and get­ting bet­ter.” — Can­dace Buck­ner

Har­den inks record con­tract

The Beard has the rich­est con­tract in NBA his­tory.

The Hous­ton Rock­ets signed guard James Har­den to a fouryear con­tract ex­ten­sion for about $160 mil­lion Satur­day, giv­ing him a to­tal six-year deal with $228 mil­lion guar­an­teed. With Har­den un­der con­tract on his ex­ist­ing deal for an­other two sea­sons, the ex­ten­sion will not af­fect Hous­ton’s ag­gres­sive pur­suit of free agents this sum­mer as the Rock­ets try to make a run at the Golden State War­riors.

“Since he ar­rived in Hous­ton, James has ex­hib­ited the in­cred­i­ble work ethic, de­sire to win and pas­sion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and tal­ented su­per­stars in the his­tory of the game,” Rock­ets owner Les­lie Alexan­der said in a state­ment is­sued by the team. “Ad­di­tion­ally, the com­mit­ment he has shown to our or­ga­ni­za­tion, the city of Hous­ton and Rock­ets fans all over the world makes him a per­fect leader in our pur­suit of an­other cham­pi­onship.”

Har­den is com­ing off his finest sea­son. Mov­ing to point guard for Coach Mike D’An­toni, Har­den av­er­aged 29.1 points, an NBA-lead­ing 11.2 as­sists and 8.1 re­bounds and fin­ished second in the MVP race to for­mer Ok­la­homa City team­mate Rus­sell West­brook.

Har­den’s do-it-all sea­son helped the Rock­ets bounce back from a mas­sively dis­ap­point­ing 2015-16 sea­son that col­lapsed un­der the weight of chem­istry is­sues with the all-star guard and big man Dwight Howard. With Howard gone, the Rock­ets put Har­den at the cen­ter of ev­ery­thing they do on of­fense, and it paid off in a ma­jor way.

Hous­ton went 55-27 in the reg­u­lar sea­son and beat West­brook and the Thun­der in the first round of the Western Con­fer­ence play­offs.

“Hous­ton is home for me,” Har­den said.

TIM­BER­WOLVES: A per­son with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion told the Associated Press that Ja­mal Craw­ford agreed to a two-year deal with Min­nesota.

The cap-strapped Tim­ber­wolves only had the room ex­cep­tion left to use for the deal, worth about $4.2 mil­lion for the up­com­ing sea­son. The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause Craw­ford has to clear waivers be­fore sign­ing.

The 37-year-old Craw­ford av­er­aged 12.3 points in 82 games for the Clip­pers last sea­son.

KNICKS: New York signed free agent guard Tim Har­d­away Jr. to a four-year, $71 mil­lion con­tract.

The 6-foot-5 Har­d­away re­turned to the Knicks af­ter two sea­sons with the At­lanta Hawks. Last sea­son, he had ca­reer highs in scor­ing (14.5 points per game), as­sists (2.3), re­bounds (2.8), min­utes (27.3) and field goal per­cent­age (.455). In four sea­sons with New York and At­lanta, he has av­er­aged 11.0 points in 23.4 min­utes.

76ERS: Philadel­phia cen­ter Joel Em­biid was fined $10,000 by the NBA for di­rect­ing an ob­scen­ity at LaVar Ball on so­cial me­dia.

Em­biid di­rected the ob­scen­ity at Ball, the fa­ther of Los An­ge­les Lak­ers rookie Lonzo Ball, in an In­sta­gram Live video this week.

GRIZ­ZLIES: Mem­phis rookie for­ward Ivan Rabb will miss the first three sum­mer league games as he re­cov­ers from a sprained left an­kle.

Rabb, a 6-10 for­ward from Cal­i­for­nia, was hurt dur­ing a pre­draft work­out.


The Wizards matched re­stricted free agent Otto Porter Jr.’s con­tract of­fer sheet and will re­tain him.

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