The writing had been on the wall for quite some time that Otto Porter would go into this season without an extension to his rookie scale contract, but his approach hasn't been any different. While a player being in a contract year can cause chemistry issues for some teams, that's not the case with Porter.
"It's definitely a factor depending on who that is," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "I've been on teams where that guy was in his contract year but was not a team guy. You knew he was going for numbers. ... With our guy, Otto, he's a team guy. He's a winner. I would never worry about him. He plays the right way. He plays for his team. He makes a lot of winning basketball plays. I love coaching him. Going forward, that would not even cross my mind. That's not going to cross his mind. He's going to play hard and do what he has always done."
Porter's output in an 0-2 start for the Wizards has been consistent with what he did a season ago. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds last season and now is at 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds.
For his part, Porter, a meek and unassuming small forward who avoided the AAU circuit en route to becoming an elite prospect, doesn't care about any of the chatter. He'll likely become a restricted free agent next summer provided the Wizards make him a $7.7 million qualifying offer to retain the first right of refusal.
"I'm just focused on basketball. I let my agent deal with all that," said Porter, who is represented by David Falk. "He's going to make it easy on me."
The Wizards had so many players on expiring deals during a 41-41 season that kept them out of the playoffs, players admitted at the time they thought that was one of many issues. Trey Burke and Marcus Thornton are expiring and there are three rookies on the roster with non-guranteed deals.
"Everybody understands this is a business," Brooks said. "The business of basketball is going out there playing hard and playing well and having your teammates have success and your team doing well. When that takes place, everybody gets rewarded. ... It always works out for guys like Otto."