Like his Washington Wizards teammates John Wall and Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr. has been the focus of a number of trade rumors in recent weeks. With the Wizards currently tied for 10th place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-11 win-loss record, it’s been suggested that the team might be in need of a shakeup. That, according to a recent report, might include trading Porter to the New Orleans Pelicans, who appear to be interested in the 25-year-old small forward.
In a report that mainly focused on the Pelicans (10-7) and how they might be in the market for players who could support superstar big man Anthony Davis, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor mentioned Porter as one of the players New Orleans is “interested” in acquiring. O’Connor pointed out how Porter could make a good addition to the Pelicans despite his struggles in the second year of his four-year, $106.5 million contract with the Wizards, which have included stretches where he was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of Jeff Green and Kelly Oubre Jr.
“Porter is overpaid, but he’s proved to be an effective two-way player. He could thrive in [head coach] Alvin Gentry’s up-tempo offense and add another versatile defender at forward for the Pelicans,” O’Connor wrote.
Talking about possible trade packages the New Orleans Pelicans could put together to acquire Otto Porter Jr., O’Connor theorized that the team could offer forwards Solomon Hill and Julius Randle and a future first-round pick. He added that such a deal could work for the Pelicans regardless whether Anthony Davis ends up with another team or not, as Porter could fill the “gaping hole” New Orleans has at the small forward position.
Porter’s numbers have been on the decline since he posted career-high numbers in most statistics in the 2017-18 NBA season. According to Basketball-Reference, he is currently averaging 10.6 points and five rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 28.6 minutes per game. As for the Pelicans players mentioned in O’Connor’s hypothetical trade offer, Randle sports averages of 17.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as New Orleans’ sixth man, while Hill has put up just 2.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game as a backup small forward.
Otto Porter Jr. wasn’t the only Washington Wizards player The Ringer’s O’Connor discussed in depth as someone the New Orleans Pelicans might or might not trade for. He also mentioned John Wall as a potential acquisition to bolster a point guard rotation recently rocked by multiple injuries to Elfrid Payton, but opined that the 28-year-old All-Star could also end up a liability due to his “poor” shot selection, “inconsistent” defense, well-documented history of injuries, and the “super-max” contract extension he signed in the summer of 2017, which will have him earning around $40 million per year starting next season.