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Here we continue our in-depth look into the top prospects for the 2013 NBA Draft. Today, we examine:
Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown, 6’8”, 205 lbs
2012-13 Collegiate Stats: (all stats courtesy of ESPN.com)
16.6 points, 50% field goals, 44% 3-pointers, 76% free throws, 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks
Otto Porter has led the Georgetown Hoyas to a share of the Big East Conference title before Georgetown and the rest of the so-called “Catholic 7” break away and take the Big East name with them for 2013-14. He’s taken a team with minimal expectations and brought them to the highest of level of college basketball in the 2012-13 season.
Porter, a sophomore, has elevated his game to extraordinary heights this season. Averaging less than 10 points per game as a freshman, Porter is now scoring nearly 17 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. His minutes have slightly increased this season, but his production has skyrocketed. Porter has commanded attention from opposing defenses all season. Soon he will be doing the same in the NBA.
With a 6’8”, 205-pound frame, Porter can body up opposing defenses in the paint without hesitation. Whether it’s trying to find his own shot or if he’s battling for a rebound, college defenders have had problems controlling Porter’s paint presence this season. His 7’1” wingspan also helps create separation between him and his defender, both offensively and defensively.
The 3-point shot has been a vital key to Porter’s emergence this season, jumping from a 20 percent average as a freshman to 47 percent as a sophomore. Porter has range, with his bread-and-butter shot coming from the free throw line extended and beyond the arc, both helping points for a small forward at the NBA level. He’s also familiar with finishing around the rim, another aspect helped out by his impressive length.
Porter and his length also come into play on defense, with his wingspan causing altered shots from opposing offenses to avoid the block or deflection. He uses his long arms to get into the passing lanes and redirect the opponent’s offense. If a shot has gone up and Porter hasn’t been able to alter the shot, he has no problems sticking his nose into the paint and grabbing a rebound. This is highlighted by his average of more than seven rebounds per game.
A few weaknesses can be noticed when discussing Otto Porter. One of which is his inattentiveness at time on the offensive end. Not that Porter has issues asserting himself into the offense, but he’s more comfortable letting the offense work to him instead of through him. Not a huge problem right now, but being complacent is a big NBA no-no. He needs to be more aggressive when looking for his shot if he wants to be successful at the next level.
Another flaw scouts might notice is, while lengthy, Porter is not built for battling in the paint on a nightly basis. Right now it is easy for him to push defenders around, but in the NBA that won’t be the case. However, if Porter is going to design his professional career around being a perimeter player, this won’t come into play as much, but could still hurt him. One thing to consider, though, is one person that scouts said was too scrawny to make it in the NBA–his name was Kevin Durant.
Feb. 23 at Syracuse (W 57-46) 33 points, 12-for-19 field goals, 5-for-10 3-pointers, eight rebounds, five steals
This game was really Otto Porter’s official coming out party. Not only did Porter demolish the Syracuse 2-3 zone defense, he almost single handedly beat Syracuse, something no team had done in the Carrier Dome in 38 games.
Shot after shot fell for Porter at day. He sliced through the zone with ease and shot Syracuse out of it with his five three-pointers en route to a career-high 33 points.
Jan. 5 at Marquette (L 49-48) 13 points, 5-for-13 field goals, 1-for-3 3-pointers, six rebounds
The loss at Marquette was the point where Georgetown could not find any sort of rhythm in their offense, where scoring less than 50 points per game was the norm. The biggest concern for Porter in this loss was not his point total or overall shooting performance, it was his lack of aggressiveness in getting to the free throw line.
Porter went to the line for only two shots in the game, below his average of five per game. Shooting a 74 percent clip from the charity stripe, Porter needed to get to the line more than he did to win. This is another fault in Porter’s game. He isn’t the greatest free throw shooter in the country, but he can drive the lane and draw the foul with his big frame. He needs to use that to his advantage in the NBA more than he does in college.
Potential Landing Spots:
Porter is being touted as a top-five pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and has been moving up the mock draft boards since that coming out game against Syracuse. It is possible he falls past the fifth pick in the draft, but he won’t last long after. With the inside-out ability of a 6’8” small forward, Porter is sure to find a home quickly come draft day.
Teams That Make Sense:
Cleveland Cavaliers: With the emerging point guard in Kyrie Irving and progression of Dion Waiters, Porter makes logical sense for the Cavaliers, who are one or two solid youngsters away from breaking the LeBron Curse in Cleveland.
Combing Porter’s shooting ability and paint presence with Irving’s drive-and-dish capabilities would be a dream pairing for the Cavaliers.
New Orleans Pelicans: The newly named Pelicans already found their golden goose in Anthony Davis during last year’s draft. Their second pick in Austin Rivers hasn’t exactly panned out for them thus far, meaning there is an opening for scorer in New Orleans.
Eric Gordon is the currently holder of that role, but considering his injury history, they cannot rely on him to always be around. Drafting Porter will help open up the floor for Davis and Robin Lopez to work down low as well as create passing lanes for Greivis Vasquez.
Otto Porter has taken Georgetown to heights nobody expected them to reach this season. His production has been phenomenal and he’s bound to get better with some experience in the NBA. His potential is great and he can open up the floor for any team’s offense that decides to draft him. Cleveland and New Orleans seem like safe bets for Porter, but any team will be happy to have him in the fold.