Otto Porter, The 'Trendy' Pick for the Wizards? | Wizards Blog Truth About

Otto Porter, The ‘Trendy’ Pick for the Wizards?

Updated: June 21, 2013

[Otto Porter on the cover of Washington Post Express – June 21, 2013]

Otto Porter made the cover of the Washington Post Express this morning. The Express, for those outside of D.C., is a free, hard-copy newspaper intended to give public transit commuters a quick dose of top news, etc.

Today’s 36-page edition calls Georgetown’s Porter the “Trendy Pick” for next Thursday’s NBA Draft … ‘trendy’ because Porter, in his photograph, was fitted with an outfit which some ‘designer’ has dubbed ‘trendy’. In reality, it’s the standard ‘Georgetown’ regalia. All Porter is missing is some croakies, boat shoes, and a conversation about ‘first-world problems.’

OK, perhaps I am nit-picking too much. But before I stop, I’ll call out some issues with said ‘piece’ in the Express. [To note: the Express, while a highly-serviceable publication that, in my opinion, ultimately makes the entire DMV area (at least public commuters) smarter and better informed, does tend to have some dumbed-down items catered to tickle the masses without too much insight.] To the article…

Excerpt No. 1:

“The Wizards have their young backcourt of the future with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Washington also seems to be content with Nene at either power forward or center. But they’ve been missing that do-everything swingman ever since Caron Butler left in 2010. Andray Blatche, Al Thornton, Rashard Lewis, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely and Trevor Ariza have failed to fill that role. Martell Webster was solid last season, averaging 11.4 points a game and shooting 42.2 percent from 3-point range, but he’s a free agent and is limited in some of the characteristics a team ideally wants out of a small forward.”

Me, being nit-picky:

  • “Content” is one way to refer to the 3-years and $39 million left on Nene’s contract.
  • Caron Butler left, but was technically traded.
  • Andray Blatche? Swingman? We’re talking about the same Andray Blatche who played for the Wizards, right?
  • Jan Vesely? Swingman? OK, well, there’s some validity to this, seeing as Young Jan prefers the ‘3’ position, at least that’s the position he played as an overseas pro prior to the Wizards drafting him. But ‘swingman’? C’mon, son.
  • I can’t argue too much with what’s written about Martell Webster other than the fact that the writer has already conveyed a surface knowledge of the situation. Do the un-described “characteristics” Webster supposedly lacks stand for “intangibles” and “locker-room leadership”? Hard to tell, but Porter has a long way to go before he’s a well-spoken, vocal leader like Webster, if ever.

Excerpt No. 2:

“The Wizards need a star not a complementary player or development project. Wall and Beal have shown flashes of greatness, but can either consistently be the go-to guy for Washington? As for Porter, at least he’s proven to be that type of player in college.”

Me, being nit-picky:

  • OK, this relative nonsense is almost not worth patronizing.
  • If the Wizards want a ‘star’ or a potential ‘star’, the pick is Anthony Bennett, no?
  • Porter is considered an ideal fit by most because he is more of a facilitator who could become a star. Bennett, on the other hand, could shrink from the situation if he’s not the primary cog in the offense.
  • But, by definition, unless the writer really thinks that Wall and Beal will ultimately play second and third bananas to Porter (they won’t), Porter is a complementary player. And this is one of the main reasons why the Wizards are considering him.
  • Can Wall or Beal consistently be go-to guys for the Wizards? Well, I don’t know either, but Beal has hit game-winning shots (against the Oklahoma City Thunder), and Wall was pretty consistently “go-to” once he got going last season.
  • Point is: Wall and Beal are better players than Porter now and likely forever, and being “go-to” in college without much ability to dribble or drive, like Porter, doesn’t mean much when you get to a man’s league.

No, I’m not accomplishing much by attempting to take down a superficial piece in a free daily mini-newspaper, but… this site ain’t called the ‘truth about it’ for nuthin’.

That said, I agree. The Washington Wizards should draft Otto Porter, Jr. with their pick and not look back.

Yesterday I published a long-form post outlining why the Wizards are following the San Antonio Spurs Model. So, let’s ask ourselves, what would the Spurs do?

Well, they might draft Alex Len as a replacement for Tim Duncan. (Don’t laugh … well, OK, laugh a lot.)

No, San Antonio (given the circumstance of the Wizards) would pick Otto Porter. Some might call it a ‘safe’ pick, some might call it a long-view pick, but whatever the case, too many reasons stack up in Porter’s favor—he’s local, he fits a team need, and aside from that (because you can’t always draft according to ‘need’), Porter has a tremendous amount of upside (TUP!). (Really, did you see how much Porter progressed by the end of his sophomore season?)

Sure, Anthony Bennett is the sexy pick, but I (and the Spurs) would rather avoid undersized, defensive loafers… no matter how good they might be at offense, which the Wizards do sorely need. But a need for offense, among other needs, does not mean, ‘Hey, let’s get fancy with this third pick that fell in our laps.’

The debate rolls on…

Last year’s pick, Bradley Beal, probably made more sense than the Wizards knew what to do with. This year’s pick is a little more controversial. But that will all end by next Thursday when the Wizards draft Porter and return to praying for the health of Wall, Beal, Nene, and anyone else who touches the basketball.


Below, Sholape Oriola (@lape14), video correspondent for Truth About, provides an excellent run-down of Otto Porter’s workout and media interview last Friday with the Wizards.

VOTE: Otto or no Otto in the poll after the video.



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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.