Team: Washington Wizards
Position: Small Forward
Role: Projected Starter
Analysis: Quietly, the Washington Wizards aren’t looking too bad. A lineup of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Nene and Omeka Okafor might just be good enough to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. Of course, a jolt in the arm by rookie forward Porter Jr. could be the one final push that gets them over the hump and into the playoffs.
For being the “safest pick in this years draft”, Porter Jr’s 6 foot 9, 189 pound body type makes him a prototypical small forward — obviously a strength coming in. His high basketball IQ will definitely help a young Wizards team that can, at times, look their age.
As a rookie, Porter Jr. isn’t going to shoot the lights out right away. It’s rare when a rookie has that ability initially, even though he shot an impressive 48 percent last season at Georgetown. One thing that he will bring in from the outright is his hustle. Porter Jr. is going to put his head down and work, day in and day out. He got better, much better from his freshman to his sophomore year. His freshman year he shot a putrid 22 percent from three, his sophomore year he shot 42 percent on double the shot attempts.
The Wizards are going to need him to be reliable. They could really use another dependable scorer opposite of Beal and Wall, losing Jordan Crawford’s 13 points per game midway through last season really hurt them.
The bottom line for Porter Jr. is that he just needs to come in and work, just like he did for Georgetown. If he can do that, the rest will fall into place for the rookie.
Statistical Prediction: 7.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 43% FG