Otto Porter Jr. sat fatigued, along with five other prospects, courtside at the Washington Wizards’ practice arena after a 90-minute workout for the team holding the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.
“Let me get my second breath,” the 6-foot-9, 198-pound forward said to one of the Wizards’ trainers.
Fitting for a prospect who is looking for his second stint at Verizon Center, the home court for his Georgetown Hoyas.
Porter recently wrapped up his sophomore year with averages of 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds en route to being named Big East Player of the Year. Many mock drafts, including from analysts at ESPN.com and CBSSports.com, have the Wizards selecting Porter with the third overall pick.
That would put him into a situation where his main weakness could be placed under wraps until he figures it out. Porter has not excelled at creating shots for himself because of his deficiencies handling the ball. During the portion of the workout open to the media, Porter did not maintain strong control of the ball through dribble pull-up drills.
A recent scouting report by NBADraft.net highlighted those issues: “He lacks the tools to impose his will on the game. Has difficulty creating clean looks for himself — off-the-dribble creativity is elementary and he’s more slippery/slithery than quick.”
But Porter realizes Washington’s current pieces can help mask some of his weaknesses, which is why Porter remains optimistic of the possibility of playing in a Wizards uniform.
“[The Wizards have] great young guys,” Porter said. “[John Wall and Bradley Beal] can create for themselves and create for others. I think it would be a good fit for me.”
During the months leading up to the draft, he has been developing his offense and other aspects of his game to ensure he is worthy of a top-three pick.
“I am working with a trainer right now that is familiar with a lot of [NBA] workouts,” Porter said. “A lot of ball-handling drills, spot shooting and pick-and-roll action.”
Aside from his scoring ability, Porter is an adaptable player. He was moved to the power forward position midseason when teammate Greg Whittington became academically ineligible. His flexibility would be key for the Wizards, who tied for last in the league in points per game (93.2) and could use a player able to contribute immediately.
“Right now, I’m focused on making an impact [for] any team I go to,” Porter said. “Using my versatility when I first get there to help the team win — that’s my main focus.”
Former Hoyas such as Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), Jeff Green (Boston Celtics) and Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons) have reached out and given him advice on what to expect when he reaches the NBA.
He also believes his two-year run as a Hoya has prepared him to play in the low post.
“[Defending the low post is] something that we had to do,” he said. “I was able to hold my own in the post this year.”