Utah Jazz fans around the NBA got hit hard with the news that forward Gordon Hayward would be leaving Tuesday evening to join the Boston Celtics. With Utah planning to use a max-contract on Hayward they still have a wide-open payroll and are now looking at Washington Wizards restricted free-agent Otto Porter as a possible replacement in the small-forward vacancy.
Sources: The Jazz plan to make Wizards restricted free agent Otto Porter a priority after losing Gordon Hayward.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 5, 2017
The 24-year-old met with the Sacramento Kings on Sunday and was offered a 4-year, $106 million max-contract. With the recent signings of forward Zach Randolph and guard George Hill the Kings no longer have the cap space to offer that deal.
— RealGM (@RealGM) July 2, 2017
With several teams – including Washington – prepared to offer the max-contract it seems that landing with Sacramento will not be an option if they decide to lower their offer to fit into the salary cap.
Sacramento agreeing to deals with George Hill and Zach Randolph eliminates its pursuit of Otto Porter.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 4, 2017
With the Jazz losing Hayward, the vacancy at small-forward is glaring and it seems that they have their eyes on meeting with Porter to offer him the money that was previously saved for Hayward. With Utah’s precision offense Porter could thrive as a shooter and cutter under head coach Quinn Snyder.
After struggling his first two seasons in the NBA, the Georgetown University product finally thrived this season with averages of 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per-game. The area that Porter was most successful was beyond the three-point line where he shot 43 percent which lead the league for a majority of the season, but finished fourth by the end of the regular season.