Despite performing better than expected to start out the 2018-19 NBA season, the Sacramento Kings are still considered lacking in a few areas, including the small forward position. According to a new report, the team could be working on this soon by targeting the Washington Wizards’ Otto Porter Jr. in a potential trade.
Citing a report published Friday afternoon by The Athletic‘s Jason Jones, Bleacher Report wrote that the Kings are “closely monitoring” the situation with Porter, whom they supposedly failed to land as a free agent in the summer of 2017. Due to the Wizards’ early season struggles, Porter’s name had frequently been mentioned in trade rumors over the past few weeks, much like fellow Wizards starters John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Rumors linking Otto Porter Jr. to the Sacramento Kings had first swirled in the 2017 offseason, when the former third overall draft pick became a restricted free agent after four years with the Washington Wizards. As noted by NBC Sports, it was reported in July 2017 that the Kings offered Porter an offer sheet for a maximum contract, though the team ultimately denied these rumors. Comments made by Kings minority owner and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal in August seemed to suggest that Porter was headed to Sacramento, though this never came to pass.
According to the Washington Post, it was the Brooklyn Nets that ended up making a max contract offer to Porter — though the Wizards matched this by signing him to a four-year, $106.5 million contract. With Washington currently sporting an 8-13 record and slightly recovering from their rough start, Porter has been averaging 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, two assists, and 1.4 steals per game as the team’s starting small forward.
Could Otto Porter Jr. be the Kings' answer at small forward? Team said to be monitoring the Wizards forward https://t.co/vTE8pnEuD2— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) November 30, 2018
While The Athletic did not name any Sacramento Kings players that might be included in a possible trade package for Otto Porter Jr., Fansided blog A Royal Pain listed Porter earlier this month as one of three small forwards the team could trade for. The publication suggested a trade that would send Porter, and backup center Ian Mahinmi, to Sacramento in exchange for young big man Willie Cauley-Stein, veterans Ben McLemore, Iman Shumpert, and Zach Randolph — and a future second-round pick.
“A move out of Washington could help him get back on track, and there’s no better place to do it than in Sacramento,” A Royal Pain wrote, referring to the Wizards’ purported locker room issues and how Porter’s stats for the 2018-19 season have fallen slightly short of his 2017-18 averages.
As of this writing, the Kings do not have a true small forward in their starting lineup, with second-year man Justin Jackson averaging 6.5 points and 2.9 rebounds off the bench as their top player at the position, per Basketball-Reference. The team is currently tied for 11th in the Western Conference with a 10-11 win-loss record.