When you have a top-3 pick in the NBA draft, you hope that the player you select contributes quality minutes his first year and eventually becomes a cornerstone of your franchise. Many teams miss on these types of picks and that is why they find themselves back in the same place (the lottery) year after year.
The Washington Wizards were different then most teams who have a number three overall pick in the draft. They are a team that had their eyes on the playoffs even after finishing 29-53 last season. They thought a solid draft choice could push them over the edge and into the playoffs for the 2013-14 NBA season.
The Wizards selected Georgetown forward Otto Porter. Porter, who did it all for the Hoyas in college as sort of point-forward, averaged 16.2 points per game as well as 7.5 rebounds his senior year. Wizards management believed Porter would bring great length on defense as well as a player who could score in a variety of ways and help set up teammates for open shots. He did all that at Georgetown, but has not yet in a Wizards jersey.
Porter has played as many minutes as I have this NBA season. That would be zero. He missed all of training camp with a right hip flexor injury and the injury has prevented him from seeing any game action so far this season.
This could all end very soon.
Porter, who has been seen working out before games recently, has now begun participating in full practices with the team and there is a chance he plays tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks.
I would not bank on him playing Friday night, though. After Wednesday’s practice, Porter told Michael Lee of the Washington Post that he was not sure about Friday, but that he is getting in much better shape. Coach Randy Wittman told J Michael of CSN Washington, they will evaluate him after going through two straight full practices. So, we will see.
Regardless, the much-anticipated debut of Otto Porter is going to happen in the near future.
Porter has a chance to really help this team, especially the Wizards’ woeful bench. The Wizards have the worst bench in the NBA, according to Hoopsstats.com. The Wizards bench is only averaging 19.2 points per game. To put that in perspective, 24 of the league’s 32 teams are getting more than 25 points per game from their bench.
Porter will have a chance to receive instant playing time because of how poor the bench has been this season. It is going to take some games to get his legs under him, but he is an extremely fundamentally sound player who should be able to score 10 points a game and add five rebounds given enough minutes.
It is going to be a process for Porter to become a contributor to this Wizards team. Besides getting his legs back, he still has to get adjusted to the speed of the NBA, the Wizards systems and his teammates. However, if he can provide this Wizards team with a little more depth, they will continue to keep getting better.