The Wizards were able to unload the remaining three years and $19 million on the contract of Drew Nicholson in their trade with the Nets, and that money figures to be useful this summer when Otto Porter becomes a restricted free agent. Porter has improved steadily in his four NBA seasons, and the Wizards intend to re-sign him. Sources indicated that there were inquiries about Washington’s willingness to deal Porter throughout the year, but the Wiz were not interested. There will be suitors for Porter—the Suns and Nets are expected to be among them—which could push Porter’s price tag near the max. But Washington still intends to keep him.
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They’ll also have assets on hand. The Wolves have gotten strong play from point guard Ricky Rubio since the passing of the trade deadline, when Thibodeau was shopping Rubio but unable to come up with a satisfactory return. Rubio is a career 37.5 percent shooter, a number that scares off most potential trade partners around the league, but he has been on a tear since late February: 15.7 points, 11.3 assists and 46.9 percent shooting.
Rubio has not hidden his displeasure with the way he was shopped at the deadline, and with Thibodeau invested in Dunn as his future point guard, the assumption is that Rubio will be run through the rumor mill again in the coming months. Should the Wolves remain out of the playoff hunt, Thibodeau will have an attractive package of Rubio, another young player and a lottery pick to offer for a more established star.
Marreese Speights Game Jersey The Kings also shipped Omri Casspi to the Pelicans for a then-disappointing Hield, their old work Tyreke Evans, spare part point guard Langston Galloway and first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft. Divac admitted another team proposed a better deal two days before he accepted the one from New Orleans. We attempted the trade on NBA 2K, and Sacramento’s virtual GM was like, Naw, bruh.