Will Otto Porter’s Play Match his Mega Deal?

AFRO Sports Desk Faceoff

by: Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley AFRO Sports Desk
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With little cap space to add another star player to contend with the NBA’s emerging “Superteams,” the Washington Wizards are going to need immediate return on their four-year, $106 million extension to forward Otto Porter. Washington officially announced on July 13 that it matched Brooklyn’s offer sheet to the restricted Porter in a deal that will make the former Georgetown star the highest paid player on the Wizards next season. Can Porter live up to the deal? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the possibilites.

FILE – In this April 30, 2017, file photo, Washington Wizards’ Otto Porter Jr. (22) drives past Boston Celtics’ Jae Crowder (99) during the third quarter of a second-round NBA playoff series basketball game, in Boston. Following his best NBA season, Otto Porter Jr. has a big offer to join the Brooklyn Nets. Porter has agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Nets, a person with knowledge of the details said. The Wizards plan to match the offer and keep Porter, the person told The Associated Press on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because contracts can’t be signed until Thursday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Green: Porter’s usage on the court might not be stylish enough to the naked eye to scream max deal, but for how he fits inside the Wizards’ system, he means a lot to their makeup. I’m not sure the Wizards make the postseason next year if Porter isn’t on the opening night roster. That’s how valuable he is. Washington will eventually sign John Wall to an extension either this season or next which will make him top dog. Once the dust settles, Wall, Porter and Bradley Beal will be the team’s highest paid in that order which probably is accurate. The amount is just the trend with today’s market. 

Riley: Porter is being paid to be Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Durant and he’s simply not on that level and probably never will be. Washington should’ve wised up and let Porter walk this summer then dive into free agency next year for another star. Wall said it himself: The team needs another star if it wants to compete. but, Porter hasn’t shown in his game that he’s capable of becoming the megastar Washington needs to chase a championship.

Green: Washington needs another star in addition to Porter not in place of him. Porter’s the exact type of lay low, do-it-all chess piece that thrives on contending teams. The market is setting the landscape for these mega deals and Porter’s just being paid according to what the market dictates. In today’s NBA, he’s a max player. Considering he led the league in three-point shooting for an extended stretch last season, shot a high percentage from the floor, played active defense and rebounded well, if the Wizards weren’t going to pay him the max obviously another team (Brooklyn) was ready to jump at the chance. Coming off a career season, one more jump in his game and Porter will easily live up to his new contract. Besides, it’s not like he’s getting paid what the major superstars are getting paid. Sure, he may be getting a truckload of money, but guys like Steph Curry, James Harden, and even his own teammate, Wall, will be getting three truckloads of money, so it all evens out.  

Riley: Unless he’s going to become a dominant scorer then his play won’t match his pay. I don’t care about the current NBA economics or whatever excuse you want to use; dynamic players are getting paid those type of contracts and Porter isn’t dynamic. Superstars are ones that can take over games, hit clutch shots and command marketability. You’re simply not getting that with good ‘ole’ meat-and-potatoes Porter. Washington paid Porter the max only because they had to after a desperate and talent-starved Brooklyn opened their checkbook hysterically. The Wizards have come too far just to watch an integral piece walk out the door. Porter will be his usual self but he won’t become the megastar his contract needs him to be.

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