The Dallas Mavericks are interested in Washington Wizards’ forward Otto Porter per Michael Scotto of The Athletic.
“The Mavericks have expressed interest in trading for Wizards forward Otto Porter, league sources told The Athletic.”
Porter, 26, is averaging 11.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and two assists playing nearly 30 minutes per game. The Georgetown product is also shooting 37 percent from three, which represents a significant dip from his 44 percent clip from deep last season.
The acquisition of Trevor Ariza seemed to signal the Wizards were aiming for the Eastern Conference playoffs, but John Wall’s season ending surgery could (and should) have the organization re-evaluating it’s priorities as the team sits at 14-23.
With a cap sheet north of $128 million, and a hefty price tag attached to Wall for several seasons (his super max deal doesn’t even kick in until next season), the Wizards could be looking to offload salaries to get under the luxury tax. And with the selection of Troy Brown with the 15th pick in the 2018 draft, the Wizards could be willing to part with Porter who is owed $26 million this season, $27 million in 2019-20 and $28 million in 2020-21.
Porter experienced a breakout season in 2017-18 averaging 14.7 points and 6.4 rebounds while recording .503/.441/.828 shooting splits and owned the Wizards’ best on/off rating. But his play has slipped considerably this season, though Washington, from the outside, has appeared to be in a constant state of disfunction.
If the Mavericks and Wizards enter negotiations, the conversations would likely start with Wesley Matthews, whose $18.6 million expiring deal would be a valuable trade chip. A contract like Dwight Powell’s or another combination of players could be thrown in as salary filler, but presumably, if the Wizards are looking to rebuild, Dennis Smith Jr. would be involved in discussions.
Porter’s fit with the Mavericks is undeniable. At 6 feet 8 inches tall, the sixth year pro, could play multiple positions on both ends of the floor. Luka Doncic, Harrison Barnes and Porter would all be interchangeable on defense, while Porter would add elite shooting to Doncic’s playmaking prowess and Barnes’ steadiness and developing three-point range. Throwing Porter into the mix would give the Mavericks a healthy rotation of size on the wing they’ve been lacking for years.
With Adrian Wojnarowski mentioning Matthews could be a buyout candidate if he’s not traded, and Marc Stein reporting that NBA executives expect Smith to eventually be moved, all signs indicate the Mavericks could be busy leading up to the February 7 trade deadline.