Otto Porter Jr. has been patiently waiting for his chance to shine and be a contributing factor since entering the league. He was drafted third overall by the Washington Wizards in the 2013 NBA draft out of Georgetown University.
Porter hasn’t exactly lived up to the expectations of a third overall draft pick; so far, he’s only played in about 35 games and is only averaging 8.2 minutes of playing time per game. During his time on the court, he averaged 2.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game. Porter recently made solid bench contributions for the Wizards in the team’s comeback win on Friday against the Orlando Magic; he provided nine points and nine rebounds off the bench in 25 minutes of play. This is a positive sign for the Washington franchise.
Porter suffered a hip injury during Washington’s training camp, which led him to miss the first 18 games of the season. This has hindered the start of his career, but I believe it is only a minor setback. Porter has great potential, and I believe he can exceed in Washington.
There has been a lot of debate as to why the Wizards have not utilized the D-League to help Porter succeed. From certain perspectives, the D-League helps players work on their weakness and strengthen their skill sets. In Porter’s case, Washington sending him to the D-League would not help Porter develop at all.
In the D-League, winning doesn’t matter; it’s all about individual performance and rarely do we see players playing as a team. With the Iowa Energy, Washington’ D-League affiliate, Iowa would not be able to cater to Porter’s needs — he would have to battle for playing time at the small forward position, and it would be very difficult for him to achieve individual success. These are sound reasons for why Washington’s management has yet to ship him away. Porter can learn so much more watching and working with the veterans in the league. What he has been missing most is playing time. He needs more chances to get out on the court and compete with other NBA players.
The 2013 draft had some big names it in. Washington passed up on Alex Len, Kelly Olynyk,Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mason Plumlee to grab Porter. He hasn’t had much of a productive season, but his patience shows this young man’s professionalism. We haven’t seen enough action from Porter to determine anything yet, so it is still too soon to call Porter a bust.
He has started making the most of his minutes off the bench. Unfortunately, with the playoffs right around the corner, Washington fans most likely won’t see Porter playing a lot, but the Wizards can still use him to give breaks to Trevor Ariza, Martell Webster and Trevor Booker.
Even though Porter most likely won’t average a double-double next season, he has gotten better and learned a lot, which leads me to believe that he will have a much year during the 2014-15 season. So, until next year is over, it is too soon to consider Porter a draft bust.