Otto Porter doesn't have an extension to his rookie contract with the Wizards, but president Enrie Grunfeld said he has talked with his small forward and intends to keep him next summer when he hits the market.
"We had conversations but we want Otto here long-term," Grunfeld told CSNmidatlantic.com on Wednesday, before the regular-season home opener with the Toronto Raptors. "We like Otto. We really like what he brings to the table. He’s a really good player that meshes well with John (Wall) and Brad (Beal) who like to have the ball in their hands. Otto cuts and spots up and he does a lot of little things. He makes a lot of winning plays that don’t show up in the boxscore. Our intention is in the offeseason is to have Otto signed and have him here long-term."
Porter was eligible for an extension through Oct. 31 but the Wizards let the deadline pass. Porter, who will make $5.9 million this season as the No. 3 overall pick in 2013, will become restricted when the Wizards make him a $7.7 million qualifying offer (125% of his salary, required by the CBA). If the Wizarrds don't make him a qualifying offer, he'd become unrestricted and free to sign with any team.
A qualifying offer doesn't mean a deal has been reached. It's required to be tendered by the Wizards to give them first right of refusal if Porter were to seek out a deal and bring them an offer sheet from another team. Though Porter is just in his second season as a starter, he will command more than $7.7 million with the salary cap spiking again in the summer of 2017. The cap hit on for the Wizards will be smaller (a $7.7 million cap hold is placed on the books if the Wizards qualify him) than the actual terms of any contract. That way, similar to what they did with Bradley Beal when he was in the same position a year ago, they manufacture more cap space and retain flexibility for a roster that is likely to have some turnover.
If anyone is equipped to handle the questions and pressure of being in a contract year, it's Porter.
"We like everything about him. Great character, very hard worker, very low key, does everythng behind the scenes," Grunfeld said. "I talked to Otto and let him know that he’s very important to us and we expect him to continue to work hard, continue to improve and continue to contribute to what we’re tyring to do."