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NBA Rumors: Kristaps Porzingis could decline player option, enter free agency after the season

Washington Wizards v Houston Rockets
Kristaps Porzingis of the Washington Wizards

Kristaps Porzingis is having a great season for the Washington Wizards after a successful stint with the Latvian men's national team over the summer. Porzingis has a player option for next season and the latest rumors suggest he could decline it to become a free agent.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, Porzingis is considering declining his player option at the end of the season. If the "Unicorn" decides to enter free agency, there should be plenty of teams interested in signing him.

However, Stein also reported in his latest Substack piece that Porzingis likes his current situation with the Wizards. The team has a nice core with Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma. Beal signed a max contract last summer, while Kuzma is due for a new deal in the offseason.

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Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported earlier this month that the Washington Wizards plan to bring back Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma if they opt out. The Wizards plan to build around Bradley Beal, Porzingis and Kuzma, while also considering adding a fourth star to bolster their chances of success.

Porzingis has stayed relatively healthy this season, playing in 41 games already. He's averaging 22.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting 46.8% from the field and 34.8% from beyond the arc.

The 27-year-old big man built up his confidence in Latvia's World Cup qualifying campaign in the summer. Porzingis averaged 25.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the latest qualifying window. It's also the first time since the 2016-17 season that he has not suffered any serious injuries.

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Kristaps Porzingis' next contract

Kristaps Porzingis of the Washington Wizards
Kristaps Porzingis of the Washington Wizards

If Kristaps Porzingis can recover quickly from his recent ankle injury, he will prove that he can stay healthy for most of the season. Porzingis remains one of the most unique players in the NBA, with his combination of size, length and shooting. But how much would he earn for his next contract?

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Porzingis could earn a three-year, $90 million deal or even a four-year, $120 million contract. Scotto noted that it depends on his health and production, which has been positive this season. If Porzingis decides to enter free agency, will there be teams interested in him?

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The Washington Wizards are willing to give him an extension, as per recent reports. There are plenty of teams with cap space this summer, including the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz.

The Charlotte Hornets could also free up space if they can trade Terry Rozier, PJ Washington and Gordon Hayward. The LA Lakers are expected to have money because Russell Westbrook is in the final year of his contract. The Sacramento Kings can generate enough if they don't extend Harrison Barnes and trade Richaun Holmes.

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Edited by Juan Paolo David
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