Otto Porter Jr. once put up 28 points and 35 rebounds in a state championship game back in high school. Porter's got the kind of skills and versatility that can stuff the stat sheet if so moved, but he leaves an imprint on the game that's not always explained by the box score.
As a double-double machine, the 6'8 Porter will see most of his NBA time alternating at the forward positions. He was the biggest kid in his county, coming up in high school when he didn't play a lick of AAU ball like most of his contemporaries. That could have something to do with why he isn't all that flashy, and the reason he takes the hustle plays more seriously than scoring.
Porter honed his skills with his pops, Otto Sr., and his uncles in backyard slugfests.
Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, obviously with a little bias, called Porter "by far the best player in this draft" and likened the potential lottery pick to Pacers breakout star Paul George. Hoyas longtime play-by-play man Rich Chvotkin compared Porter to another Paul, but this one took home a championship with the Celtics five years ago and is also known for several classic playoff battles with LeBron James.
This kid's ability is hard to argue. Fundamentally sound, he can score, rebound, defend and is more than willing to do the little things to make the team better. That's why JTIII speaks so highly of Porter. He sounds like a coach's dream.
Still, it would be an incomplete story if we didn't remind folks of what happened to Porter when he went up against fellow no-names at Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA tournament. FGCU pretty much caught everyone off-guard in the tourney, but perhaps nothing was more important in their run than holding Porter to just four points in the first 29 minutes of the game.
Credit to FGCU for the wild run, but for Porter, it wasn't exactly the best moment to come up small. He's a lottery pick despite that, but it's difficult to concede the comparisons to George and Pierce if that's the kind of postseason performance he's turning in as the lead guy.
Porter is unlikely to be asked to take over a leadership role right away, but he is projected to go in the top five, and possibly even at No. 3 to the Wizards.
We don't know how much he would shine in a situation where he's got more freedom to operate. Being the fundamentally-focused player that he is, running JTIII's Princeton-style offense suited him well.
Porter's going to need a little edge to him in order to shatter the mold.
DraftExpress.com had this breakdown on Porter when they looked at the small forwards in this draft:
Seeing just 20% of his offense creating his own shot on the pick and roll, isolation situations, and post-ups, Porter's profile reflects the work he did in Georgetown's Princeton-style motion offense. Cuts alone account for roughly the same percentage of his total possessions as opportunities to create his own shot. A slightly below average finisher converting 1.13 points per-shot as a sophomore, Porter scored a tremendous 1.393 points per-shot as a freshman in an even more compact role. In contrast to his decline around the rim, Porter made progress as a set shooter this year, knocking down a top-three 42.3% of his catch and shoot jumpers, a significant jump from the 37.4% he made a year ago.
Porter's main weakness on paper aside from his lack of prolific isolation and pick and roll usage, is his pull up jump shot. Making just 25.6% of his 1.3 attempts per-game, it will be worth monitoring whether he can improve as a scorer off the dribble and recapture his efficiency around the rim. Lauded for his ability to help a team as a high-level complementary player, Porter's improved shooting and savvy off-ball movement certainly seem to support claims that he'll fit in on whatever roster he's drafted onto without constantly needing the ball in his hands.