The 2013 NBA Draft was filled with uncertainty and a lot of movement. Very few experts could agree on who the top five picks were going to be with the exception of one. The majority of mock drafts had the Washington Wizards drafting Otto Porter Jr. with the third-overall pick. A long and athletic Small Forward from Georgetown University, Porter not only filled a need on the court but off the court as well.
The Washington Wizards have struggled to win games and fill their arena over the past few seasons and they hope that Porter can do both. Even though he wasn’t born in Washington, Porter played his college basketball less than five miles from the Verizon Center. He was a fan favorite in college and will be able to attract students from the Georgetown campus to make the drive over and watch his NBA Games.
After signing on with Georgetown, Porter averaged 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a freshman. As a sophomore, he nearly doubled his points production, averaging 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. At the conclusion of his sophomore year, he was named Big East Player of the Year, First Team All-Big East and First Team All American.
On the court, he will immediately jump into the starting lineup and continue the rebuilding process for the Wizards. They started their foundation by drafting John Wall and Bradley Beal to solidify a young and talented backcourt. In 2012 the Wizards completed trades for Nene Hilario and Emeka Okafor to give them a solid big-man combination that can protect the rim and score inside the paint. The one position of need for them is a Small Forward and Porter is an instant upgrade over everyone on their roster. They were able to get decent production out of Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster last year but those guys are at the stage of their careers where they should be role players coming off the bench.
The positives of his game are that he is a 6-foot-9 Small Forward which these days is taller than some centers; he is very long and athletic, has a high basketball IQ and has an above average jump shot. The downside of his game right now is he isn’t able to take a defender off the dribble and get to the basket. While he is very good in the post and slashing without the ball, at this level a defender can play up on him and not worry about him exploding by them. The fact is if he can’t hit his jumper, he will be very easy to defend but still able to impact the game on defense and rebounding.
In my opinion, his career will mirror that of a Luol Deng and he will be a solid NBA player for years to come. However, you will see some struggles from him his rookie year when he is matched up against strong physical defends. NBA vets like Metta World Peace, LeBron James and Andrei Kirilenko will push him around and take him out of his game offensively. I expect him to average 11-14 points and 6-8 rebounds per game while making the All Rookie Second Team this year as a full time starter.