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Extension looks unlikely for Wizards' Otto Porter heading into 2016-17

Extension looks unlikely for Wizards' Otto Porter heading into 2016-17

Otto Porter appears likely to become a restricted free agent next summer, with no movement towards an extension to his rookie scale contract with the Wizards before starting the 2016-17 season, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com.

Porter, drafted No. 3 overall in 2013, would end up like Bradley Beal a year ago when he didn’t work out a deal with the Wizards still owning the first right of refusal to retain his services. They acted quickly on Beal by signing him to a $128 million deal over five years this summer that will be made official later today or Wednesday.

Porter was taken ahead of No. 10 pick C.J. McCollum who signed a $106 million extension with the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. McCollum was coming off a season-ending knee injury at Lehigh which caused his stock to plummet and would've gone higher. But the shooting guard had a breakout season (20.8 points, 41.7% threes).

Porter is not in position to command such a salary unless he can replicate that in his second year as a starter. He averaged 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and shot 36.7% from three-point range for the Wizards in a 41-41 season but could go invisible for long stretches. He was considered the "safe" pick by Washington in an unpredictable draft class in which Anthony Bennett was chosen No. 1 overall.

The wing position is where the Wizards are currently thin, with just Porter and second-year player Kelly Oubre. Under coach Scott Brooks, both are expected to develop better than with Randy Wittman.

Porter has said he’s better when catching the ball on the move mid-range and shooting rather than standing flat-footed in the corner waiting for three-point looks in Wittman's rigid system. He was less than 30% on threes most of last season before finishing strong to climb closer to 40%. 

Not getting a four-year extension now can work out for Porter just as it did for Beal when he was part of a shallow shooting guard class. The salary cap is expected to spike again, from $70 million to $94 million this season to $102 million for 2017-18. He'd also get an extra year (five) by letting the rookie deal expire like Beal.

A look at the list of small forwards at his postion who will be on the market in 2017 -- Jeff Green, P.J. Tucker, Tony Snell, Ersan Ilysaova -- means less quailty in supply might translate into increased demand for Porter's services. And again, like Beal he's just 23. 

Based on how the Wizards have manuevered in the last year, they prefer to keep their options open to see if Porter can perform well enough to put the pressure on the them while Oubre pushes him.

Both played well together in the spot minutes that Wittman had them on the court simultaneously. Wittman didn't stick with using Porter as a stretch four, where he had his career-best game (28 points) in a win vs. the Dallas Mavericks.

McCollum went from being barely a rotation player to the league's Most Improved Player to a max contract in just a few years, after Portland turned over its roster by changing four starters. The difference for Porter is the Wizards likely will have the same starting five.

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Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

Wizards waive three, sign 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks

As the NBA regular season approaches, the Washington Wizards seek to finalize their roster.

The Wizards announced on Wednesday that they have waived Phil Booth, Justin Anderson and Jemerrio Jones. The team also signed 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks and small forward Jalen Jones, the team announced.

Pasecniks and Jones were signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, meaning that if they are waived, they will have the opportunity to play for the Go-Go, the Wizards' G-League affiliate. Booth was on an Exhibit 10 deal, so he will report to the Go-Go after being waived.

Pasecniks, a 7-foot center from Latvia, was the 25th overall selection from the 2017 draft. The Orlando Magic drafted him and moved him to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for draft picks. The 76ers renounced his rights in June.

Pasecniks played on the Wizards summer league team, averaging 4.0 points and 5.3 rebounds. Jalen Jones has averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc in 32 games over two seasons with three teams.


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John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

John Wall embracing role as assistant coach during injury rehab

WASHINGTON -- John Wall has already made enough money during his basketball career to last a lifetime and his new supermax contract worth $170 million is just kicking in. When he is done playing in the NBA, he doesn't have to do anything at all if he doesn't want to.

But there is at least a small part of Wall that believes coaching could be in his future. He loves the game enough to not rule out the possibility.

This year will give him a taste of what being a coach is all about. While he rehabs his ruptured left Achilles, he will serve as an unofficial assistant to head coach Scott Brooks. Wall will be asked to break down film with players, advise on plays to run and help the team's young point guards in practice.

Wall isn't sure as of today whether he wants to coach when his playing days are over. But he may have an answer in just a few months.

"I think this year will tell me whether I can be a coach or not," Wall told NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast. 

"I think you have to have a lot of patience and you've gotta know how to interact with every player. Every player's attitudes and character and mood swings are totally different. I learned from when a coach tried to coach me when I was young and I wasn't the guy to coach."

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard envisions Wall as an important part of the locker room, even when he isn't playing. Part of his role may include some tough conversations with players. As Sheppard says, Wall may be able to deliver some messages that resonate more from a peer than if they came from a coach. 

Wall knows he can help in that regard. He has long been a vocal presence for the Wizards and had to assume the role as a team leader at an early age. After coming in as the No. 1 overall pick, he was a franchise player from the time he was 19 years old.

Wall's personality may also lend itself to those duties. He is very honest, whether it be with teammates or the media. 

"I like to speak my mind," he said. "It's like my momma always told me, 'I'd rather you speak your mind and say what you want to say, but say it in a respectful manner and a respectful way.'"

Wall, in fact, has a detailed philosophy on being honest. He doesn't like to lie whether it's in a media setting, to teammates or in everyday life.

It's not quite a Jim Carrey in 'Liar, Liar' deal, but Wall sees no point in beating around the bush. If he has something to say to a teammate or the media, he will say it.

"I don't know how to not give you the truth," he said. "What I've learned is that when you lie, you've gotta remember that lie exactly the way you said it for the next 12 people you tell it to. So, why make it that tough?"

Wall is set to miss at least the first few months of the Wizards' 2019-20 season and he could be sidelined the entire year. He said he hopes to have a similar impact that Kristi Tolliver did with the Mystics this past season where she remained active as a veteran leader in the locker room despite not being able to help the team on the floor for weeks due to a knee injury.

Missing so much time due to injury is not the ideal situation for Wall, but he plans to make the most of it.

"It will make my game a lot smarter and better for when I come back," he said.