It appears as if a player who has been oft-connected to the Utah Jazz as the NBA’s trade deadline nears will be staying put.
According to Noah Frank of WTOP in Washington, D.C., Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said during a Q&A on Thursday in reference to forward Otto Porter and guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, “We’re not trading any of those players.”
Porter’s name is the one that has been connected with the Jazz recently. In addition to speculation from NBA observers, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported last week that Utah has “been an interested suitor for Porter” but that interest actually goes back more than a year.
Immediately after Gordon Hayward signed with the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2017, one of the Jazz’s reported targets to replace him was the 6-foot-8, 200-pound Porter. A restricted free agent at the time, Porter signed a four-year, $106 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets instead, which the Wizards matched.
Fast forward a year-and-a-half, and Washington has massive financial obligations for Porter, Wall and Beal, but is currently 2.5 games out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. As such, many have speculated Porter could be on the trade block if the Wizards were aiming to shed long-term salary.Comment on this story
Many league observers have opined that Porter would give Utah a good, long-term solution at power forward should they want to move on from Derrick Favors. In return, the Jazz are in a position to provide salary relief, as they have a bunch of players whose contracts will be expiring after this season.
The 25-year-old Porter is averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists this season. He exited the Wizards’ game on Wednesday night after injuring a toe and did not return. There has been no update on his status reported.
The trade deadline is Feb. 7.