Free agent forward Otis Thorpe's time with the Washington Wizards seemingly is over, according to a source familiar with Thorpe's situation. However, four playoff teams have inquired about trading for Thorpe.
Miami, New York, Utah and Milwaukee have expressed interest in acquiring Thorpe, according to the source. The Wizards would have to re-sign Thorpe before dealing him. Miami and New York would be Thorpe's top choices, the source said.
If the Wizards were able to sign and trade Thorpe, 37, they would receive compensation for the veteran low-post player. Should Thorpe leave via free agency, the Wizards would get nothing for him.
Last season, Thorpe arguably was the most consistent player for a team that won just 18 of 50 games. Thorpe averaged 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds, starting 38 of Washington's final 39 games.
The Wizards are over the salary cap, but they have $3.1 million in NBA exceptions to spend on free agents. With few affordable, quality front-court players available on the free agent market, Washington could receive a serviceable player or players in return for Thorpe. Such a scenario would allow them to save their available funds to sign other free agents.
Though no names supposedly have been mentioned in deals, Knicks forward Kurt Thomas, an occasional starter last season, Heat reserve forward Mark Strickland or backup center Duane Causwell could become expendable with the acquisition of Thorpe.
The teams interested in Thorpe are all expected to be over the salary cap and are exploring trading for Thorpe so they, like Washington, could retain their $3.1 million in NBA-allowed exceptions to sign other free agents, the source said.