Free agency last year was the first one for Sean Marks as general manager of the Brooklyn Nets. One of the ways he attempted to improve the talent on the roster was by being aggressive in the pursuit of restricted free agents. He made a bold move to offer big contacts to relatively unknown young players in Tyler Johnson of the Miami Heat and Allen Crabbe of the Portland Trail Blazers, but both offers were matched, as neither team wanted to lose a promising young player for nothing. A year later, there is once again speculation that Marks will offer large contracts to young restricted free agents. According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, the Nets have long been interested in forward Otto Porter of the Washington Wizards. He adds that the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic will also consider making him an offer this offseason.
One anonymous GM told Deveney that Porter could cost as much as $100 million in total, and it appears the Nets will have competition from other teams to acquire him, as he is a highly-coveted wing player who is just 24 years old. Marks may have a plan to offer him a big contract that could make it difficult for the Wizards to match, and there is speculation that the Nets would offer a max contract to Porter once free agency starts. If that occurs, it is likely he will sign the offer sheet, and under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Wizards will have just two days to match, rather than three under the previous CBA. The max offer for Porter will be for four years in the $100 million range, and at this time, the Nets are $30 million+ under the cap, so the team is capable of signing him to a max contract.
The reason why there will be a lot of interest in Otto Porter in the upcoming free agency is because he is coming off the best season of his career, where he averaged 13.4 points on a very efficient 51.6 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from 3-point range. He was fifth in the NBA in shooting percentage from 3. Porter also averaged 6.4 rebounds and shot 83.2 percent from the free throw line in 32.6 minutes per game, which were all career-highs. A positive sign in his game is that he has improved every single season, and he has been firmly entrenched as a starter the last two seasons. For example, Porter has improved in points per game, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, free throw percentage and rebounds per game each season.
Porter has shown a steady growth in his game, and although he is a role player, his versatility is a nice fit in today’s NBA on both ends of the floor. Porter’s primary position is at small forward, but he is also capable of playing power forward, and he has good size at 6-foot-8 with a wingspan of over 7 feet. Players that could play multiple positions are increasing in value because they provide more flexibility to the team, and it is certainly the direction the Nets are moving in at this time and for the future. Porter will certainly stretch the floor with his much-improved 3-point shooting. As of now, he is a solid third or fourth option on offense, and his biggest strength is as a spot-up shooter.