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Nets send Porter offer sheet to Wizards with a surprise attached

NBA: Playoffs-Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The wait has begun ... but with a surprising twist, one that might make the Wizards think twice.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Nets four-year, $106.5 million offer sheet for Otto Porter had arrived at the Wizards headquarters.

Washington now has until 11:59 p.m. Saturday night to match the offer ... unless Wizards owner Ted Leonsis decides to use provisions of the CBA that could drag things out.

According to Woj, the offer includes a trade kicker of 15 percent and a player option on the final year of the deal.

That’s pretty standard fare, but the offer includes a twist, a big financial disincentive for Washington, tweets Zach Lowe.

Unusual indeed. In fact, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Friday, some of that money would have to be given Porter immediately, sort of a bonus.

That means that whoever lands Porter, the Nets or Wizards, will have to pay him $6.2 million salary up front now and another $6.2 million by October 1. Each subsequent season, payments would follow that same routine.

None of the Nets previous offer sheets —to Tyler Johnson, Allen Crabbe or Donatas Motiejunas — contained that provision or anything close.

But there’s also a disincentive for the Nets. The Wizards could delay Porter’s physical examination for several days if they decide to match, meaning the Nets money would be tied up through next Wednesday. Lowe thinks Washington will go that route.

As each day goes by, that means the Nets would have limited resources to use on other free agents, restricted or unrestricted. Since the offer sheet was delivered, two free agents who might have interested the Nets, Kelly Olynyk of the Celtics signed with the Heat and Rudy Gay of the Kings signed with the Spurs.

Putting the upfront provision aside, a Wizards match would put Washington over the luxury tax threshold for the first time in franchise history. They'd likely pay slightly in excess of $10 million. The team also has a big decision to make on a four-year extension for superstar John Wall.

The big issue would be taxes beyond this year. The Wizards would be looking at years of tax payments unless they made significant moves, which in turn coukd jeopardize the franchise’s recent success on court. The upfront provision could also have an effect on the franchise’s cash flow.

Porter, 24, averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds last season.

Trevor Booker, who played with Porter in Washington, discussed his former teammate on the Hoopshype podcast.

“I love Otto Porter’s game,” Booker said. “I got to play with him while I was in Washington. Just seeing him play, he brought so much to the table. He’s very versatile, he’s a good defender, good shooter, he can put the ball on the floor, he can pass it. I’d be very excited for him to join our team.”

Booker also said that another few moves, he thought the Nets could make the playoffs.

The Nets have now submitted offer sheets on restricted free agents four times in a little over a year. So far, they have failed each time.