NBA Trade Rumors: Wizards' Otto Porter Drawing Interest from Pelicans

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16:  Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Washington Wizards shoots a free throw against the Brooklyn Nets on November 16, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly interested in bolstering their depth on the wing by trading for Otto Porter Jr. 

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported the news, noting "there are whispers" the Pelicans are exploring acquiring the Washington Wizards swingman via trade. O'Connor pointed out Porter has been on the bench for fourth quarters in recent games in favor of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Jeff Green even though he is in the second year of a four-year deal worth $106.5 million.

Potentially moving on from Porter would be the latest in a string of headlines for the 5-11 Wizards.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, Washington "is making every player on its roster—including All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal—available to discuss in trade scenarios" after the lackluster start. Wojnarowski noted Porter and Oubre "have fetched minimal interest on the market" even though the Wizards were hoping to make them "centerpieces" in potential trades.

What's more, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Washington "had a volatile practice within recent days, with verbal altercations among players and an exasperated Bradley Beal saying toward team officials: 'I've been dealing with this for seven years.'"

The drama in Washington could help New Orleans land the 25-year-old Porter after he has impressed in the past.

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While he is only averaging 10.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals a night through 15 games this season, he was a critical playmaker for the Wizards in 2017-18 when he posted 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game behind 50.3 percent shooting from the field and 44.1 percent shooting from three-point range.

He also proved to be a two-way player seeing how Washington's defensive rating was 108.7 when he was off the court and 104.5 when he was on it last season, per NBA.com.

Porter also has 31 playoff games on his resume and would give the Pelicans depth on the wing, which O'Connor described as "a gaping hole."