With the most “NBA Ready” arsenal at his disposal, coupled with the notion that he’s “the best small forward in Big East history,” Otto Porter Jr. has a lot to prove. Even though he silenced most of the haters and naysayers during his dominant sophomore season at Georgetown, where he averaged 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 31 games, there needs to be a translation on the NBA level. Porter brings a high-level motor, fantastic length with a 7-1 wingspan, high basketball IQ for a 19-year-old, and elite level defense for the wing position.
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NBA Comparison: Tayshaun Prince
It’s not hard to compare Porter to Prince when looking at the skills that both wing players possess. Porter said himself during the NBA Chicago Combine that a good comparison for his game would be the former Detroit Piston and 2004 NBA Champion.
Prince and Porter match up closely when looking at just the basics. Prince stands at 6-9 and weighs 215 pounds while Porter is 6-8 and 198 pounds. Porter needs to work on adding strength to his long-limbed frame but otherwise the two match up rather well here. Additionally, Prince has always known how to use his length to his advantage and was one of the NBA’s better defenders for a long time. Porter has the opportunity to be a player similar to Prince, but possibly more gifted offensively.
Prince has only averaged 14 points for a season five times in his career. Even though Porter seems more useful off ball than in multiple ISO situations per game, he is capable of being the leader of an offense if necessary. It always seemed as though Prince was not. Also, with a dwindling number of star wing players in the league, Porter has the best opportunity in 2013 — depending on which team drafts him — to make an impact in the league and solidify himself as a dominant force in either conference.
Offensively, Prince and Porter’s packages are almost identical. They are both capable shooters from beyond the arc (Porter showed improvement this season, shooting over 42 percent from three), both have a deadly midrange game (Porter shooting 51 percent in spot-up situations), and both have an unorthodox style of play that results in contact around the rim. Porter seems to be a step faster than Prince and runs well in the open floor, securing 1.45 points per possession in transition opportunities.
Defensively, they’re both lanky perimeter defending specialists who will always find a home in the NBA due to their ability to guard almost anyone on the floor. Due to massive wingspans from both players (Prince has a 7-2 wingspan), they cause disruptions in the passing lane and defensively in on-ball opportunities (2.1 steals per game and 1.0 block per 40 minutes for Porter). Either player can take the responsibility of guarding the opponent’s toughest matchup.
Although Prince was a defensive staple in the league, Porter has the opportunity to be the more complete player and continue to grow his game under elite coaching. Porter will have the most upside of the duo due to his young age and proven tendency to excel with the right opportunity.
Shows average athleticism for the most part and possess a 36-inch vertical leap that’s usually on display in transition. Not the guy who’ll jump over a defender; missing elite explosion of a NBA small forward but has the tools to possibly improve in this area.
Perhaps the best offensive arsenals of any top-15 draft selection in the 2013 class. Porter shows proficiency in the low-post, mid-range, and a vast improvement from the perimeter (23% his freshman year to 42% his sophomore year).
NBA READINESS: 9
With rumors around Cleveland that he could end up being the first selection of the 2013 Draft, Porter is one of a small number of players who can immediately make an impact on almost any NBA roster. Teams are beginning to become enamored with his abilities.
Many question his upside due to his ability to score prolifically at the collegiate level and how that will translate in the NBA. Porter also doesn’t display elite speed or ballhandling ability on the wing to make a difference offensively with the ball in his hands. He’d have a lot to work on for his upside to improve to NBA scouts, but his defensive potential is remarkable.
Porter shows his heart on the court. Being one of the better defenders in the conference this season in the Big East, his motor was always on display for the nation to see. He took a weaker Georgetown team, at least compared to recent seasons, and made them better with his individual play.
– Tremendous length at 7-1 in a 6-8 frame
– Prototypical body for NBA wing player
– Very good spot-up shooter, most of his offense came this way
– Extremely versatile. Can shoot from anywhere on the floor at a high percentage
– High basketball IQ at only 19 years old, plays an experienced game for such a young age
– Plays well in transition and the open court, finds many opportunities to score there
– Highly efficient inside the arc; can catch and shoot coming off screens, plays well shooting in zones (majorly 2-3), shoots well on the dribble
– Draws contact around the rim due to his unorthodox style of play, finds his way to the line around five times and game and will shoot close to 80 percent from FT
– Makes excellent use of pump and ball fakes
– Used his dribble in the Princeton system at Georgetown to find more opportunities for teammates, averaged nearly three assists per game
– Shows a good nose for the ball at the wing position, grabbed 7.5 boards this season as a result, not just good on the glass but also chasing down long rebounds
– Hard worker on defense. Contests every shot, dives for loose balls, wingspan takes away clear looks unless he’s more than five feet from the shooter; length allowed him to block shots when closing out on opposition
– Plays the passing lane well and disrupts screens by hedging; length allows him to create opportunities to steal the ball (1.8 steals this season); usually turns into high IQ offense on the other end with Porter scoring, drawing contact or dishing the assist.
– Doesn’t display the elite explosion of an elite small forward
– Presents a weaker frame, may get pushed around by some forwards around the league on the low block
– Hasn’t added any strength in two seasons with the Hoyas, has gained five to seven pounds at the most.
– Lacks the tools offensively to takeover games at will as many small forwards can do at the elite level.
– Not much lateral quickness but not noticeable due to his chase-down speed and length on-ball
– Didn’t show much versatility in the pick-and-roll setting at Georgetown. That type of pick-and-pop offense will be prevalent in the NBA
– Porter doesn’t elevate over defenders on straight-line drives to the basket
– Has difficulty putting the ball on the floor and creating offense for himself in ISO situations or pick-and-roll opportunities (11.4 percent of his offense came here); not much creativity with his dribble drives or hesitations, not very quick with the ball in his hands; converted only 26 percent of pull-up-jumpers
– Unorthodox shooting method, displays weird topspin when shooting the ball, rotation always off
– Struggles to blow by defenders with his first-step speed in half-court offenses; shows only an average ability to change speed and direction with the ball
Draft Projection: First-Round Pick, No. 3 to the Washington Wizards (won’t fall further than No. 5 to Phoenix Suns)
Even though Porter has the defensive tools and the NBA body to thrive for most teams at the next level, there is much to be desired of what he can do offensively in some areas. The wing position is becoming one of the harder positions to play in the league, and without the ability to put the ball on the floor, one could be lacking in what they can bring to the court. If that’s the case, they suddenly become a third or fourth option on the floor. Nonetheless, Porter has the potential to be an elite perimeter defender in the NBA and has the offensive tools to be useful in any rotation.
5. Porter’s best highlights last season
4. Porter’s put-back dunk against Rutgers
3. Porter’s give-and-go backdoor dunk against UConn
2. LeBron-like block on the break
1. Nasty all-around mixtape
Who is the best comparison for Otto Porter Jr.?
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