Wednesday 24th July 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Otto Porter Set for Breakout Year

Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Wizards

Otto Porter is ready to break out in 2015-16. He was taken 3rd in a disappointing 2013 draft, headlined by the biggest bust in recent history, Anthony Bennett. Coming off a season where he averaged 6 points a game, and 3 boards, a lot of you will be looking at this going “WHAT??”

But let’s look at two key factors. Porter played starter-level minutes in the playoffs last season, and  paid back Randy Wittman’s faith in him by putting up 10 points and 8 rebounds a game, earning a PER of 14.1. That would put him at 25th among small forwards in the league last year. On top of this, Paul Pierce’s departure leaves a gap to be filled, and among Kelly Oubre Jr and Jared Dudley, Porter looks set to slide in as a starter for the Wizards.

Porter’s statistics show a marked improvement from his rookie to his sophomore year, and production like his playoff form will only come with more, consistent minutes. That’ll come this season. His bunny-hop jump shot has gone from a desperately bad 19% from three point land to a somewhat respectable 34%, and it’ll improve as he looks to complement the Wizards backcourt, all of whom are improving from deep. It’s not just from downtown that he’s getting better, either; his field goal percentage jumped from 36.3% to a healthy 45%. Based off Porter’s per-36 minute statistics last season, he’s putting up an adjusted 11 and 6, which is very handy for a sophomore, and as he looks to actually get around 36 minutes a game this year, those number should get better.

There’s a very good reason why Porter went 3rd in the draft, and looking back at scouting reports shows his size and length as an asset that should continue to develop. Being 6’9 with a 7’1.5 wingspan allows Porter to be an above average rebounder for his position as well as being able to guard both 3s and 4s. Despite a lack of athleticism, Porter has a terrific motor and his heart isn’t questionable.

He has an exceptional basketball IQ, on or off the ball, and always seems to not only find himself consistently in the right spot at the right time, but his teammates as well. It’s the key factor to why he’s been able to hold his own in an increasingly pace-and-space, run-and-gun NBA that doesn’t have time for slower, heavier forwards that can’t shoot the ball at an above average clip.

Porter isn’t going to flash on your newsfeeds like Victor Oladipo did last year, but he’s set to be an underrated cornerstone of Washington’s team this year as they look to put on a good show for Kevin Durant’s impending free agency. Just like before the draft, he’s a safe pick to do well, and he’ll do it without much of a fuss. In your fantasy basketball league, he may be a steal, and a contender for All-Defensive Honours if he lives up to his potential.

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