Wizards owner Ted Leonsis feels ‘terrible’ after reading Otto Porter Jr. felt lied to in trade to Bulls
Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis held back no sentiments during a recent interview with Mike Wise of WUSA 9, saying he regrets how his former small forward, Otto Porter Jr., felt he was lied to upon the trade that sent him to the Chicago Bulls before the deadline.
Porter was traded to the Bulls for Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker and a conditional future draft pick, a splash he didn’t see coming after the owner was determined not to trade anyone from the team’s principal core before the Feb. 7 cutout date.
“I feel terrible because I read the other day that Otto had felt we lied to him,” said Leonsis. “And, I understand that. We did tell him we weren’t going to trade him. We were going to keep our core together. We actually had some other things that we were going to do. Another trade that would have kept the core together and given us flexibility. But, man plans and God laughs.”
Leonsis had reportedly first opened up to the possibility of trading Porter, Bradley Beal or John Wall during the early stages of the season, following a disappointing start. He then countered the prior story, saying the team was only doing its due diligence, but not actively seeking one.
Only days before the deadline, Leonsis doubled down in efforts to talk up the price, saying none of the offers received would be enough to pry their core apart, only to walk that promise back hours before the deadline.
While it’s certainly the nature of business, Porter is justified to feel that way, as is Leonsis by trying to help improve the team with a gut-check call in an otherwise lost 2018-19 season.