Wizards

Quick Links

Final month gives time for Wizards, Bobby Portis to evaluate their fit for the future

Final month gives time for Wizards, Bobby Portis to evaluate their fit for the future

Bobby Portis has been with the Wizards for about a month after joining them in a Feb. 6 trade, and of the nine games he's played for Washington, six were on the road. That has left about eight or so days for him to spend in his new city, to get acclimated to his new surroundings.

He is also still trying to learn everybody's name. He has his teammates down. But beyond them, there are some gaps.

"That's tough, man," he told NBC Sports Washington. "I know some of the coaches' names, but I just say 'coach,' just so I don't get the names mixed up. But that's [also tough]. If I say just 'coach,' then everybody puts their head up."

Portis and the Wizards are in an interesting spot as far as their potential future together goes. The Wizards made a collection of trades in early February to free up salary cap room. They got under the luxury tax and set themselves up to have money to spend this summer.

Portis, 23, is a restricted free agent. The Wizards could choose to retain him, either by working out a new contract or by matching an offer from another team. Or, they could let him go and use the money elsewhere.

Though Portis could be limited by restricted free agency, he will enter the offseason with some freedom to choose where he wants to play for the first time in his career.

The final stretch of this season is essentially a trial period for both sides. If it works, maybe the Wizards keep Portis. If it doesn't, the two sides will move on.

For Portis, the match has been good so far.

"Everything is pretty good, man. I like being a Wizard. I love being here," he said. "I think this is a good fit for me through and through."

Portis has been impressed so far with the training staff and the nutrition program, in particular. As far as basketball goes, it's still very early.

Portis has had some good moments through nine games. He's averaging 15.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals while shooting 43.2 percent from three. Three times already he has topped 20 points and five times he has reached double digits in rebounds.

He has mostly played well, but the Wizards can't exactly pencil him in beyond this season. They also have Thomas Bryant set to enter restricted free agency and it doesn't seem likely they will keep both of them. They haven't shared the court much due to redundancies in their game and the Wizards will only have so much money to spend this summer.

The Wizards, though, may have reasons to keep Portis, depending on the price. For one, they gave up a lot to get him by trading Otto Porter Jr. They also got Jabari Parker in the deal, but seem likely to opt out of his contract for 2019-20. Keeping Portis would give them value for Porter beyond just a third of one season.

Also, even if the Wizards clear a bunch of money by renouncing free agents and opting out of Parker's deal, there is no guarantee they could sign the top players available. Portis is probably in the tier of players they would be able to sign. He's a realistic target, is young and could present intriguing upside at a position of need.

Ultimately, the money will be important for Portis, who will be seeking his first non-rookie contract. But he does prefer a big market after playing in Chicago and now Washington.

"I was a small town guy growing up, but now I think I'm a big city guy. It's kind of hard to go from Chicago or Washington something much smaller than these two," he said. "I love the big city. There's always a lot of things to do. I don't really like being home like I used to. I don't watch TV."

The Wizards and Portis may prove a match beyond this season, or not. The next month will help both sides figure it out.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

NBA draft lottery 2020 to be held virtually amid coronavirus pandemic

NBA draft lottery 2020 to be held virtually amid coronavirus pandemic

The NBA offseason arrives later this week and will speed up soon not long after with the Aug. 20 draft lottery, which will be held virtually this year.

The news it is being held virtually, which was first reported by the Athletic, was a fairly obvious expectation. All 14 teams participating will do so remotely via a video feed. That's the way many events are being held amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wizards have the ninth-best odds in this year's lottery. That gives them a 4.5 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick and a 20.2 chance to select in the top four.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

The top eight teams in the lottery are the Warriors, Cavs, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls and Hornets. The Warriors, Cavs and Timberwolves are tied for the best odds to get the No. 1 pick.

There is no consensus top player in this draft. Mock drafts have rotated through a few players at the top. The big names include James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball.

The Wizards will need some luck to move up and have a chance to get one of them.

Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Michael Jordan competes in White Marlin Open in Ocean City for second consecutive year

Michael Jordan competes in White Marlin Open in Ocean City for second consecutive year

Michael Jordan has proven time and time again that no opponent is too challenging for him.

Even in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Hurricane Isaias, Jordan’s love for competition prevailed as he was spotted in Ocean City, Md. this past weekend competing in the White Marlin Open, a deep-sea fishing competition, for the second consecutive year. 

If basketball, football, baseball and golf weren’t enough, the six-time NBA champion has now become a regular competitor in the world’s largest billfish tournament. After he entered the competition in 2019, he was the weekend’s star even without the winning catch.

In the weeks leading up to the 2020 competition, rumors began to circulate about whether the sports icon would appear on the eastern shore again. When his plane was spotted at Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport last week and his boat Catch 23 was registered, excitement began to grow from fans and fellow anglers.

In the competition’s 47th year, Jordan’s boat was spotted as one of 433 to enter the competition. His is an 80-foot Viking, which displays the print matching his Air Jordan 3 sneakers that he wore during the 1998 NBA All-Star game.

The tournament features competitions in fishing for tuna, dolphins, blue marlins, wahoos, sharks and white marlins. Due to the effects of the hurricane, the competition spanned from Aug. 3-9, an extension from its normal five days. This year, the White Marlin Open set a record for the most money ever awarded with a collective $6.8 million distributed to the winners.

The top $1.85 million prize went to Brandon Golueke from Ocean City for a 97-pound white marlin. The fish was the third largest white marlin in competition history.

While Jordan and his Catch 23 crew were unable to bring home the top prize again this year, he has proven he has a promising future in angling. Back in June, his boat brought in a 442.3-pound marlin on the second day of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, N.C., which earned fifth place that day and ninth place in the tournament overall. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: