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Wizards shell out to keep Porter in house

Porter becomes highest-paid member of the Washington Wizards

Associated Press Published: July 14, 2017 4:00 AM
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WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards matched the Brooklyn Nets' $106 million, four-year offer sheet to keep forward Otto Porter, making him the team's highest paid player.

Team president Ernie Grunfeld announced the move Thursday. Under NBA rules, the Wizards had two days to match Brooklyn's offer sheet for the 24-year-old restricted free agent.

Porter's new deal puts his salary ahead of guards Bradley Beal and John Wall. He set career highs with 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals and shooting and 3-point percentages of .516 and .434 last season, his fourth as a professional.

"Otto has developed into a vital part of our young core, which is why we made it clear that our priority was to keep him here to maintain continuity and build on the success of this group heading into next season and beyond," Grunfeld said in a statement. "His versatility, basketball IQ and three-point shooting combine to make him a great fit for us on the floor while his character and work in the community show why we're so pleased to have him as a cornerstone of our franchise."

Porter finished fourth in the league in 3-point shooting last season and had 14 games of 20-plus points.

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The Wizards drafted Porter third overall in 2013 out of Georgetown. He has averaged 9.3 points a game in his career.

"After two years at Georgetown and four years with the Wizards here in Washington, D.C., I'm excited to be staying home," Porter said. "I will continue to work hard to improve my game in all areas and I hope to make an even bigger contribution to the Wizards' success in the future."

JAZZ BUILDING POST-HAYWARD

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the wake of losing All-Star Gordon Hayward, the Utah Jazz have been actively building depth without a marquee name remaining in free agency.

A person with direct knowledge of the deals says the Utah Jazz have reached agreements to sign free agents Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the moves had not been officially announced.

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The Jazz also released Boris Diaw, whose 2017-18 salary would have been guaranteed Saturday.

Diaw was a valued and versatile big man in his lone season with the Jazz but his departure was expected after the team tried to trade his expiring contract. The 14-year veteran posted on Instagram, "THANK YOU JAZZ AND JAZZ FANS, It was a great season, I appreciated every aspects of my experience here. I wish you the best for the years to come."

None of the three additions will offset Hayward's signing with the Celtics, but Sefolosha and Udoh should help a defense that already gave up the fewest points per game (96.8) in the league last season. Jerebko adds another wing shooter.

Sefolosha heads to Utah after three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. The 2006 No. 13 overall pick averaged 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and shot 34.2 percent from 3-point range last season.

Jerebko spent the last two seasons with the Celtics and averaged 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds and shot 34.6 percent from beyond the arc last year.

Udoh spent the last two seasons in Turkey, where he won a Euroleague championship with Fenerbahce. The 6-foot-10, 240-pounder was the No. 6 overall NBA pick in 2010.

AP SOURCE: KNICKS PROMOTE MILLS

NEW YORK -- A person with knowledge of the details says the New York Knicks have promoted Steve Mills to president and hired Scott Perry as general manager.

Mills takes over the position left vacant by Phil Jackson's departure last month, the person told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person was granted anonymity because no announcement had been made.

Perry was the executive vice president of operations for the Sacramento Kings and previously held front-office roles for other organizations.

Mills returns to the role he held briefly before Jackson was hired in March 2014 and Mills was made his general manager.


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