1. Porter has not been contributing much for the Wizards so far and there are multiple players in the frontcourt flotsam who are contributing more right now.
Porter has averaged 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds a game in six games played while averaging a little over 10 minutes a game and made just 4 out of 15 shots as of the date of this post.
Obviously, it's early, he's getting back in shape, and we shouldn't blindly call Porter a bust after just six games, but right now Trevor Ariza is having a career year averaging nearly 16 points, 6 rebounds, and over 2 assists per game, and Martell Webster overall didn't miss a beat from last year and is averaging nearly 13 points a game and is making over 2 made three pointers a game. They both basically play the same position Porter does, and I'd rather see them play the bulk of the minutes at the wing along with Bradley Beal, instead of Porter right now. And I didn't even get to Chris Singleton just yet.
I really like that SportVU data is now available for everyone to see in the NBA. And right now, Beal, Ariza, and Webster are in the Top 10 for overall catch and shoot points per game and all three rank toward the top of the league for catch and shoot field goals made per game. Even if we want to give John Wall more of the credit for helping make this happen, I'd still rather see Beal, Ariza and Webster catching and shooting the ball from Wall's passes right now and allowing that chemistry to flourish.
2. The Wizards aren't in the early parts of a rebuild anymore.
Ted already said that we know who the foundational players are now in his press conference in October. Those players are John Wall and Bradley Beal who we should expect to see here in DC for the foreseeable future. While I hope Porter could be in that core, right now I want to see which players will accelerate Wall's and Beal's progress. That may be why we're rebuilding the Seattle Sonics way like Prada pointed out, rather than the Oklahoma City way, which we saw didn't work out well here.
And right now the Wizards are 12-13, which may be mediocre on the surface, but it's still a hell of a lot better than the putrid 5-28 start this team had last year before John Wall came back from his knee injury. And there has to be some major jump in the win and loss column this year in order to see that things are going in the right direction, at the very least with Wall and Beal and overall it is, even if you don't like Ernie Grunfeld running the team.
3. Playing in the D League will give Porter more confidence, allow him to basically have his training camp and get him back into prime playing shape.
Obviously, it is not common for a rookie who is a high lottery pick to be here for any reason. But I'd rather see Porter playing some good minutes on a D League team and getting his mojo back, rather than see him at the end of the bench for the Wizards at this time. Randy Wittman isn't a coach who just gives minutes away just because a player's a high draft pick. Right now, the Wizards have a light December in terms of number of games, but in January, they're playing 17 games, and there won't be so many practices then. In the D League, he's going to get to play a good amount minutes given that he has an NBA contract, more than he will here. Lastly, many NBA players have spent time there, so it's not a badge of shame.
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I could also see these as reasons why Porter should still stay here and not go to the D League, at least right now.
1. There are a number of players currently injured, and with injury comes opportunity.
This Wizards franchise seems to have a knack for getting injured, regardless of the time of day. This season, we've already seen Al Harrington, Bradley Beal, and Glen Rice miss games, along with Nene who I doubt will ever be 100% again unfortunately. Harrington and Rice are still out right now. Porter is no center or space eater so he'll never be a Nene, but if another player gets injured, Porter's going to find more opportunities to play when others get injured, and hopefully he takes advantage of them, especially given the flotsam.
2. The Wizards don't have their own D League franchise which runs a similar playbook to the Wizards.
Unlike San Antonio and Golden State among others, the Wizards don't own their own D League team and share theirs with four other teams. That means that the Iowa Energy may not be running the same plays the Wizards do, while it would make sense for the Austin Toros and Santa Cruz Warriors to do so. So playing him in possibly a completely different system may not help much.
If Ted's building a new practice facility in a few years, I also want to see an investment in a D League team by then.
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Even with those being valid reasons for him to stay, I still think that that the Wizards should assign Otto Porter to the D-League for a month and see what he does for the Iowa Energy. It's not like we're giving up on him or saying that he is not an NBA talent. Right now, he is just not contributing at a sufficient level to overtake Ariza and/or Webster and to me, I don't want to see him just "rot on the bench."