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.