Orlando Magic Rumors: Orlando Magic may make a run at Otto Porter

Mar 5, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) shoots over Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo (11) during the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) shoots over Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo (11) during the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic will have an eye on free agency with their relatively limited funds. A new report suggests they make a push for Otto Porter.

It is hard to get a handle of the Orlando Magic’s offseason plans for free agency.

After all, the team just hired a new president of basketball operations and a new front office team. President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said he has not gotten a good handle of his roster yet, waiting to reserve judgments for when he talks with coach Frank Vogel and the returning staff from last year’s team.

Matt Lloyd, the previously acting general manager, certainly began formulating some plans and picking out potential free agent targets — just as he was going through the draft process and beginning to formulate opinions on the draft prospects.

It is hard to say what direction the Magic will go. They do not have a ton of cap room to spend — roughly $13-16 million depending on some other roster decisions. And that does not include any ideas for trades and other moves the Magic could make before the July 1 free agency period.

Even with all this mystery about what the Magic might do, they have been attached to one of the bigger free agents this summer.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News reports the Magic are one of several teams who could make a run at restricted free agent Otto Porter.

Porter had a breakout season last year, averaging 13.4 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. He shot 43.4 percent from beyond the arc and posted a stellar 60.8 percent effective field goal percentage. This was a classic contract year bump, but the young player has been progressively getting better. His strong play is a big reason the Washington Wizards reached the second round and pushed the Boston Celtics to seven games.

Porter is going to be in high demand through free agency. And his restricted free agency is likely going to force teams to spend a lot to acquire his services.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Deveney reports the Brooklyn Nets are likely to make a push for Porter. It seems the Nets, playing without much of a draft future despite their poor record, are going to push in for a lot of big-name restricted free agents. They are willing to spend and take a chance on young players to try and boost their current situation. The Nets may be willing to throw a max contract around for a player like Porter or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and dare their respective teams to match.

Deveney also reports the Philadelphia 76ers could have an interest in Porter.

The impetus for this rumor came in Deveney’s article explaining the financial quandary the Wizards find themselves in. Thanks to the cap spike, they are likely to be paying both Bradley Beal and Otto Porter more than John Wall. That caused some rifts last summer (although there is nothing the Wizards could do to control these costs thanks to the current economic climate).

It will leave the Wizards with a tough decision about matching that salary and cementing their core with Wall, Beal and Porter. It is hard to argue with the results so far. The Wizards seem likely they will match any offer for Porter.

While this rumor suggests the Magic could go after Porter, another versatile, defensive-minded small forward who can play either forward position with the bonus of a 3-point shot, it seems like it is unlikely. The Magic probably will not have enough cap room to make a big push for Porter. If he is indeed looking at some max offers, the Magic do not have the cap room to match that offer.

Orlando is more likely to go after smaller players to add depth to the roster. The meat of their offseason improvement will likely come through the four picks they make in the Draft and potential trades they make.

Next: Jeff Weltman arrives to Orlando ready to listen, lead

Even if the Magic decide to use all their cap room on one player, it is hard to see it being enough to get in the Porter sweepstakes. The Magic will likely have to put their attention elsewhere.