Brooklyn Nets Free Agency: Pettiness and the Value of Having Cap Space

Handling pettiness and earning the status as the NBA’s cap space machine team are two ways to describe how the Brooklyn Nets’ offseason is going.

It’s July 12, which means the Brooklyn Nets free agency plans will soon no longer be held up by the Washington Wizards and will be able to progress with their wild, fluctuating quest for players. This extended wait may have played a role in the Lakers winning the Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sweepstakes on Tuesday night, but who can tell the difference between no news in Marks-land, versus the tight-lipped Nets front office?

While Nets General Manager Sean Marks was not able to get his hands on yet another restricted free agent, he left his marks all over the Wizards. In fact, so much that the Wizards decided to take their sweet, sweet time to prolong their decision on Porter for as long as they possibly can (as of this writing, the Wizards still haven’t finalized the deal). According to the Washington Post, after the Wizards matched Porter’s offer sheet on Saturday, Porter has 48 hours to report to the team to take his physical, and Washington would then have another 48 hours to file the process to the league.

This only holds up the Brooklyn Nets free agency plans, as well as the Toronto Raptors’ though, because of the DeMarre Carroll/Justin Hamilton trade that took place the night Washington matched Brooklyn’s offer sheet. The Wizards can only delay this process until Wednesday evening, but they are clearly looking ultra salty when it comes to the way the Nets meddled with their starting small forward this summer. 

Here’s the exact timeline of events centered around Porter, which explains why every single thing the Nets have done since then has hinged on whether Washington would try to retain Porter:

  • June 30: The Undefeated reports the Wizards will make an “aggressive offer” to Porter once the clock starts on free agency, at midnight. Nothing happens at midnight on July 1.
  • July 2: The Sacramento Kings offer Porter a maximum offer sheet.
  • July 4: Porter agrees to a four-year, $106 million maximum contract with the Nets. Almost immediately following the deal, new reports surface stating the Wizards still intend to match Brooklyn’s offer sheet.
  • July 6: The Nets deliver their offer sheet for Porter to the Wizards.
  • July 7: Washington pulls its qualifying offer to former Net Bojan Bogdanovic, seemingly as a move to clear cap room in preparation for re-signing Porter.
  • July 8: About damn time the Wizards decide to deviate from their “all talk, no action” phase in finally matching the Nets’ offer sheet. With more than one hour to spare, too.
  • July 12: The process will be over very soon.

Pettiness Sees No Bounds

Following Brooklyn’s delivery of the offer sheet to the Wizards, the Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps did point out Washington planned to match it… and would take six days to complete the task (which is what happened). So, I guess this grueling hold-up was at least not tossed from the left field, but, at the same time, as Ball Don’t Lie’s Henry Bushnell would put it, this was probably the pettiest of petty wars that will happen between two teams in this year’s free agency. Even if an average NBA fan was probably not as tuned in as all of us to tracking each and every event in the Otto Porter Jr. sweepstakes mania.