After struggling in the first two games of the Summer League, I started to worry less on what Otto is now, and more about what he will become in the coming years. With development behind Martell and Ariza he has the opportunity to learn the ways of the game from good players on each side of the ball. However, I am looking for Otto to model his game after Paul Pierce. Now I know that physically, they are worlds apart: Pierce is strong as an ox and Otto is long and skinny. But by watching Pierce's game (I live in Boston currently), I see many ways that Otto can be like Pierce. Now, obviously this is a stretch considering that Pierce came out of Kansas as a true scorer and play maker, with above average ball handling abilities and some great isolation skills. Otto, while being as a projected "role player" and destined to be nothing more than a starter for his whole career, has a lot more potential than people give him credit for. I would like Otto to model his offensive game after Pierce in some respects. I want him to improve his handle, and get much, much stronger. PP plays at around 230-235, and If Otto can get anywhere near that I would be very pleased.I don't know how much his frame can hold without it becoming an issue. He will get nowhere being slow AND weak, but Pierce has shown that if you can bully your defender to get to your spots, speed isn't a necessity. I would also like Otto to develop that one go to move that he can get off no matter who is guarding him. Pierce has his crossover, step back jumper from the elbow that everyone knows is coming and they still can't stop it.
If Otto can develop that go to move, I think he could be a much more deadly player in the 4th quarter, not necessarily in the last 10 seconds of games. Those final shots will likely go to John or Brad, depending on who's got it going that night. Regardless, when teams ratchet up their defenses in that final quarter, having something you can rely on is invaluable especially if Wall isn't there to get you a wide open 3 or mid range shot.
Now in terms of athletic abilities, It's pretty much a wash; not very fast, can jump and dunk, but not your Vince Carter or Gerald Green type guys. The one thing that separates the two is strength, and if Otto can become much stronger and more of a physical force as he gets older, we're looking at a completely different guy than we're seeing now in the Summer League and around the beginning of the season. Otto is also taller and has a longer wingspan than Pierce, which could help him shoot over people more easily if the mechanics on his jumper continue to improve.
Otto has a leg up on Pierce on the defensive side of the ball, possessing those intangibles that everyone speaks of, but to become a great defender he needs to put in the effort and read the scouting reports thoroughly as he will likely be at a disadvantage in terms of speed. I look for him to be a diligent guy on the defensive end, similar to Shane Battier's preparation and defensive techniques, without the flopping, PLEASE without the flopping.
That said, to progress his game to this point will take years at least, bulking up, learning the ways of the NBA should come sooner rather than later. Improving his offensive game to the level of a Paul Pierce will take much longer. If Otto truly wants to be more than a role player and become that third star that many would expect with a top 3 pick, It will take huge amounts of effort from him, and whether he is willing to sacrifice his social life for his job is yet to be seen. From his attitude I can expect that he will be a student of the game, learn its "ins" and 'outs". But if he is willing to put in the work to become great is really up to him. If you guys read the whole thing you have my thanks, and if my expectations are too high please don't kill me in the comments. Off to watch game 3 of the SL!