The Wizards have officially informed the Nets that they will match the Nets four-year, $106.5 million offer to Otto Porter Jr., the 6’8” swing man Brooklyn hoped could fill their hole at the 3.
Candace Buckner of the Washington Post was first to report the news at 10:15 p.m. Saturday, an hour and 45 minutes before the matching deadline.
As Buckner wrote, it was the “least dramatic” free agency story of the Off-season with no one outside Brooklyn believIng Washington wouldn't match.
The Nets will now likely have to wait four days to have access to the nearly $25 million they had set aside for Porter’s first year salary. The Wizards can hold up finalizing the deal to first schedule, then review Porter’s physical.
However, there’s nothing to stop Sean Marks from reaching agreements with unrestricted free agents or making an offer to another restricted free agent. The most prominent names mentioned in recent days are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Pistons and C. J. Miles of the Pacers, both 6’6” swing men. The Nets could also use their cap space on salary dumps.
The Nets offer sheet included a number of disincentives including a 15% trade kicker and upfront money. None of it caused the Wizards to waver.
Of course, this is the fourth time in a year that the Nets have failed in a bid for an RFA. Last July, they offered $50 million to Tyler Johnson and $75 million to Allen Crabbe. In December, they offered $37 million to Donatas Motiejunas. In each case, their original team matched.
While they lost out, the Nets believe their strategy will ultimately work. In the meantime, they think they’ve proven to players and their agents that they're willing bid high for young talent.
The Wizards salary now increase to $126.5 million with the match of the Nets offer sheet. Washington's tax bill will be $11.4 million with 13 guaranteed and 2 non-guaranteed contracts. It's the first time in franchise history that Washington has paid a luxury tax. Porter becomes the highest paid Wizard ever and has a no trade clause for the season.