Editor's Note: Community, welcome Ryan. Ryan, this is the BF community. You can find Ryan on Twitter at @rgracia2378.
Otto Porter may not be the electric, ball-dominant player people expect to see from a No. 3 NBA draft pick, but his flash-less skill set fits perfectly for an NBA team, especially one with the Wizards' makeup.
We've seen Glen Rice, Jr. take over games thus far during the Summer League. We've also seen him do almost anything he wants against his defender in order to get points on any given possession. None of us believe that that having a player who is scoring at will in a Wizards jersey (albeit in Summer League action) is a bad thing. But if/when GRJR gets minutes during the regular season, he won't be dominating the ball as much as he has been this past week.
Otto's Summer League game so far, on the other hand, is playing out to what we all can expect it to look like come the regular season. He's curling around screens to free himself for open jumpers, taking (and hitting) step-back shots, knocking down the mid-range shot in addition to the occasional three-pointer, grabbing rebounds here and there, hustling, making the smart pass and understanding where to be on the court to maximize space not only for himself but for his teammates.
He's been one of the stars of the team thus far, and that's even with GRJR doing a heck of a job tight-roping the fine line between cocky and confident while doing the heavy lifting each game.
I admit that I had high hopes for Otto that were crushed immediately upon seeing him on the court in last year's Summer League. The transformation to this year's tournament has been a thing of beauty.
And maybe his disastrous 2013 Summer League campaign makes his current 2014 average of 19.6 points per game look like he's making it rain more than Andray Blatche at a D.C. nightclub. Or maybe it's just the "it" factor making us think that -- his knowledge of the game, putting himself in the right spots to get those points and being mature enough to know that his game feeds off others and maximizing those abilities to the fullest. And he's doing this with nowhere near an NBA-caliber point guard to help set him up, so can you imagine how perfectly his qualities will blend with guys whose games also revolve around making others look good.
So let me go on record once and for all: I think Otto Porter will be a stud in this league.
It's not a mystery that a glaring weakness in Otto's game is just that: his weakness. Porter and Wiz roster-hopeful Khem Birch are listed as the same height, yet Birch, often described as slender, is 15 pounds heavier. Otto doesn't need to go crazy in the weight room to make up that gap. He just needs to hit the weights enough to add sufficient amount of upper body protection against hard-hitting screen-setters and enough leg strength to fight through fatigue and run consistently with the speed of the NBA game.
Improve those two areas and he should be just fine come the grueling months of the NBA season.
Sam Cassell said it himself after a recent Summer League game: "this league is 80 percent confidence." So far, Otto has got it.