Wizards

Wizards

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: