Otto Porter Jr. Trade Rumors: Kings 'Closely Monitoring' Wizards Forward

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 24: Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Washington Wizards reacts after a play during the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans at Capital One Arena on November 24, 2018 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. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Will Newton/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings are reportedly preparing to target Washington Wizards small forward Otto Porter Jr. via trade should the Wiz decide to shake up their roster following a sluggish start to the 2018-19 NBA season.

According to Jason Jones of The Athletic, the Kings are "closely monitoring" the situation after missing out on Porter when he was a restricted free agent in 2017.

Bleacher Report's Ken Berger reported Friday that "team officials are preparing for the possibility" that they may need to trade assets should the Wizards fall out of playoff contention.

The 25-year-old is having his worst season since 2015-16, his first year as a full-time starter for Washington. He's averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting 48.4 percent from the field, including 36.0 percent from three-point range.

He made a career-best 44.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc last season. His decline in that area is a key reason he's dropped from fourth in player efficiency rating among small forwards in 2017-18 to 15th so far this season, per ESPN.com.

Porter is not alone, though. The Wizards as a whole have struggled to match expectations during the first quarter of the season with an 8-13 record heading into Friday's high-profile Eastern Conference clash with the Philadelphia 76ers.

In mid-November, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reported Washington was making "every player on its roster" available for trade, including the star backcourt tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Regarding Wall and Beal, Berger reported Friday that "if the dysfunction continues ... sources say there's a realization among the team's decision-makers that a breakup could be inevitable."

So far the Wizards haven't pulled off a blockbuster trade, and their 6-4 record over the past 10 games showcases some progress.

Washington may be forced to start considering trade offers for its top assets if things take another turn for the worse, though. The Kings would apparently be at the front of the line in the Porter sweepstakes as they continue to seek a long-term answer at small forward.

He'd join a young core headlined by De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and Willie Cauley-Stein if he landed in Sacramento by February's trade deadline.

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