NBA

Player Profile: Otto Porter Jr.

Otto Porter Jr. was slow to prove himself through his first few seasons in the NBA. He struggled to carve out a niche for himself offensively after being drafted 3rd overall by the Washington Wizards in 2013. Porter really started to come into his own over the next couple of seasons and signed a 4 year, $106 million max contract last summer. While the sticker shock of the contract was met with raised eyebrows from skeptics, including yours truly, Porter has continued to progress and developed into a premier shooter.

Outside Shooting: Porter wasn’t always a marksman. He shot 34.9% on just 2.1 attempts per game from beyond the arc over his first 3 seasons in the league. Over the last 2 seasons he has not only vastly improved his accuracy (43.7%), but also his volume (4.1 attempts per game). This season he’s shooting a career high 44.8% from distance, the 10th best mark in the league among qualified players.

Porter is also an excellent mid-range shooter. Though this is a skill of diminished importance in the era of high volume 3 point shooting, it is a tool that adds much needed variety to his game and makes him a tough cover.

Porter is much more than just a standstill spot up shooter as well.

His quick release and ability to turn and square up quickly off the catch makes him deadly when running off of screens. He is scoring 1.21 points per possession in Off Screen situations, ranking in the 83rd percentile in the league per NBA.com/stats.

Interior Scoring: Porter is effective at finishing around the rim. He is a fluid athlete and uses his length to good effect to finish over and around defenders around the basket. However, he’s not all that adept at creating those opportunities himself. Porter has improved his ball handling, but he’s still not very dynamic off the bounce and only averages 2.1 drives per game.

He’s also effective at using his size and length to operate out of the post. In particular Porter feasts when defenses switch smaller defenders onto him.

This season he’s averaging 1.0 points per possession on post ups, placing him in the 77th percentile in the league.

Passing: Porter isn’t the most skilled passer in the league. He’s averaging a career high 1.8 assists per game this season, but this isn’t anything special in a league littered with wing players often operating as primary and secondary playmakers.

Porter deserves credit for understanding his limitations, though. He may not create much for others, but he plays within himself and averages just 0.9 turnovers per game. That has real value.

Rebounding: Porter is an extremely good rebounder for a wing. He has good instincts when crashing down on the defensive glass and is diligent about putting his body on his man when a shot goes up. He averages 6.8 rebounds per game and is posting an excellent 19.7 defensive rebound percentage.

Defense: The belief was that Porter would develop into a lockdown perimeter defender when he was drafted. Thus far that hasn’t been the case. That isn’t to say he hasn’t been good.

He is currently averaging 1.5 steals per game and has a 102.3 defensive rating. Porter has quick feet to stay in front of his man and is diligent about chasing players around screens. He’s also a disciplined defender who rarely falls asleep off the ball.

Still, despite his size and length, Porter often leaves you wanting more as a help defender at the rim and even in playing the passing lanes. He is also susceptible to being overpowered by bigger wings on drives or in the post.

Free Throw Shooting: Porter’s free throw shooting has improved in concert with his improvements as a shooter from the field. As a rookie he shot just 66.7% from the charity stripe. He is now at 81% this season after shooting a career best 83.2% last year.

FUTURE OUTLOOK:

Otto Porter Jr. isn’t ever going to be voted into a bunch of All Star games. He’s more of a “fill-in-the-gaps” type of player.  He is excellent operating as a cog within a team’s offensive concept. He will keep things moving with quick decisions and can score efficiently, though limited as a shot creator. Defensively he’s not among the league’s elite perimeter ballhawks, but he’s solid and versatile enough to guard multiple positions.

Porter is never going to be the best or even 2nd best player on a championship team, but he’s certainly a player every contender has a use for.

Scores:

Outside Shooting: 18/20

Mid-range Shooting: 17/20

Interior Scoring: 14/20

Passing: 12/20

Rebounding: 16/20

Defense: 15/20

Free Throw Shooting: 17/20

OVERALL SCORE: 15.6/20

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