Otto Porter to Return from Knee Injury vs. Hawks; Hasn't Played Since Dec. 10

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2019

Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. reacts after he made a three-point basket during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Miami Heat, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Washington Wizards expect to have Otto Porter available for Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks, Zach Rosen of the team's official website reported.

Porter has been out of action since playing just seven minutes in Washington's 109-101 defeat to the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 10. The Wizards announced he had suffered a right knee contusion in the loss.

Porter's absence compounded Washington's disappointing start to the 2018-19 season, and his return is unlikely to make much of a difference. The Wizards are three games back of the eighth-place Detroit Pistons at 14-23, and they'll be without John Wall for the rest of the year after confirming he'll have surgery on his heel.

The best thing Porter can do for his team at this point is increase his trade value.

The Athletic's Michael Scotto reported Tuesday the Dallas Mavericks had "expressed interest" in acquiring Porter and that the Wizards are likely to hear from other teams inquiring about Porter and Bradley Beal.

With Wall out for six to eight months to recover from his surgery, the Wizards can no longer ignore the inevitable. They've gone as far as they can with their current squad and should look to rebuild.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Porter can opt out of his contract after the 2019-20 season. Re-signing him in 2020—or 2021 if he opts in for his final year—doesn't make much sense for Washington. The team already has $169.3 million over the next four years tied up in Wall. The Wizards should be looking to shed money in return for long-term assets, not doubling down on a flawed roster.

Whether Washington moves him before the Feb. 7 trade deadline or waits until the summer, Porter can use the next few months as an audition for prospective suitors.