Otto Porter Jr. A Wizard: Good Fit, But A Few Concerns

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Well Wizards fans, you got your wish with the third overall pick. Otto Porter Jr. is staying put in Washington D.C. and in all likelihood will be the franchise's starting small forward for several seasons.

Porter is bust proof according to many NBA scouts, and I tend to agree. He fits in well with Washington's fast paced offense, he has a silky mid-range jumper (when he's open), he plays excellent team defense, he's lanky enough to grab rebounds and he's an underrated passer.

It stings a tad bit not to draft a star caliber player in the top three of the draft, but Porter made the most sense with Anthony Bennett off the board. Porter himself went on to say he's a "glue guy." I don't necessarily think his presence alone propels the Wizards to the playoffs next season. And I'm not writing him off at all either. I just think Porter is a bigger project than most Wizards fans are led on to believe.

My two biggest concerns about Porter going forward:

1) His ability to score consistently

On the surface his 16.2 points per game last season at Georgetown seem to overwhelmingly say he's a juggernaut with the ball. But then you remember the loss of scorer Greg Whittington and how bad the Hoyas offense flowed -- ranking 247th in the nation at 64.6 points per game.

According to Draft Express, only 11.4 percent of Porter's points last season came from isolation or pick and roll situations. Porter is not a player you can draw up plays for. Majority of his NBA buckets will either come in transition or in more of a garbage man role -- cleaning up near the glass.

Additionally Porter will be a player standing on the baseline wing very often. It will be imperative for him to develop his three point range in order to be effective in the Wizards offense. I won't judge his statistics during his rookie season but eventually I see him as a 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists per game kind of guy.

2) His ability to be a shutdown defender at 198 pounds

I will give Porter some credit to start here, because his frail frame didn't show that often in the ultra physical Big East. But let's compare his weight to some current players on the Wizards: Martell Webster is 6-foot-7, 230 pounds; Chris Signleton is 6-foot-8, 230 pounds -- even Jan Vesely clocks in at 240 pounds.

Asking a basketball player to gain weight is a challenging task. I've known players who have put on muscle tone and lost their shooting touch offensively. Obviously adding weight can also slow you down as a player. It's easier said than done.

I think it'll take at least two seasons before the Wizards can trust Porter to guard star small forwards on a regular basis, without help from Singleton, Ariza and other guys off the bench.

The small forward position in the Eastern Conference is a much tougher position to guard than shooting guard will be for Bradley Beal. Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Paul Pierce, Rudy Gay, Luol Deng -- all will be handful for Porter to start his career with.

I'm satisfied with the Porter selection by Ernie Grunfeld and company, but he still has something to prove to me before I anoint the Wizards a playoff team.


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