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If you didn’t realize that Shaquille O’Neal is a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings, you’re forgiven – judging from the Hall of Fame center’s knowledge of the team’s roster, he’s not an especially important part of its day-to-day business.
O’Neal recently spoke to a host of CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Wizards Tipoff podcast. When asked to project the Washington Wizards’ performance in the upcoming season, the big man pointed to one major challenge the team will have to overcome: the loss of free agent small forward Otto Porter Jr.
“They lost an important piece, Otto Porter,” O’Neal said. “He’s now playing for my team in Sacramento.”
The problem? Porter was retained by the Wizards on a four-year, $106 million contract. The Kings showed interest in Porter, reportedly offering him a max offer sheet, but the restricted free agent opted for an offer sheet from the Brooklyn Nets instead – and even then, Washington is said to have had no intention of letting him go.
Check out the full exchange below.
Hold on a sec… Shaq said WHAT?! about Otto Porter on the Wizards Tipoff podcast?
— CSN Wizards (@CSNWizards) August 11, 2017
After striking out on Porter, the Kings turned their attention to adding experienced players like Vince Carter, George Hill and Zach Randolph. They’ll provide veteran minutes and mentorship for youngsters De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein, who Sacramento hopes will be a part of its next contending team.
As for the Wizards, O’Neal is high on them.
“John Wall, Bradley Beal, two of my favorite [guards] in the NBA,” he said. “Wish them well, but they’re still one or two players away.”
Of course, if O’Neal was making those comments under the impression that Porter had departed, it could mean he now sees the Wizards as viable title contenders. Either way, it’s safe to say that the 15-time All-Star doesn’t have much to do with Sacramento’s basketball operations department in his ownership role.