The Washington Wizards had a stretch four problem last season. If you've ready anything about the Wizards over the past four months, you're probably aware of this. The good news is, in the wake of Paul Pierce joining the Clippers, plenty of Wizards are preparing to fill the role this season. Otto Porter threw his hat into the ring this week, telling SiriusXM NBA Radio he's ready to log minutes at the position (HT: Blake Murphy at TheScore):
"Definitely," Porter told SiriusXM NBA Radio. "Because that's who the NBA is transitioning, you know, to smaller lineups. So being able to stretch out as a four is going to be key, and that is something with our coaching we might end up doing. It's definitely something I'll be comfortable with."
The No. 3 overall pick in 2013, Porter spent the bulk of his time at small forward through two seasons. But at 6-foot-9 with a knack for offensive rebounding - and a respectable, if inconsistent outside stroke - Porter is the best-suited wing on the team to slide over in smaller lineups.
It's nice to see Porter using the offseason to prepare for minutes at power forward, but as Mike Prada explains, Porter has already handled some of these duties in Washington:
Otto Porter essentially played the 4 on offense and 3 on defense in playoff situations, so "Stretch 4" talk isn’t that nutty.— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) August 26, 2015
At this point, the Wizards may have too many stretch fours. Think about the Wizards' roster at the moment:
- Otto Porter - Said he'll be "comfortable" playing stretch four next season.
- Jared Dudley - Brought in specifically to fill the void at the stretch four position when Paul Pierce joined the Clippers.
- Nene - Working on his three point shot this summer, according to John Wall.
- Kris Humphries - Spotted on video working diligently working on his outside jumper.
- Martell Webster - The Wizards are open to using him as a stretch four next season, according to J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic.
- Drew Gooden - Already proven himself as a stretch four.
- DeJuan Blair - Hasn't said anything publicly about working as a stretch four, but he could stand to make some money next summer if he shows he can become a dependable shooter from the perimeter.
- Alan Anderson - Yes, he's more of a shooting guard/small forward combo guy, but the NBA is only getting smaller. His shooting and aggression could work well as a stretch four in the right situations.
- Kelly Oubre - Once Oubre's body fills out, he could be a GREAT stretch four option. May as well get the ball rolling now by giving him some spot minutes here and there.
- Marcin Gortat - Yes, center will always be his natural position, but if he can make that outside shot with some regularity, it would allow the team to pair him with a small ball center to really ramp up the pace next season.
- Bradley Beal - He's already got the shooting touch to be a threat as a stretch four, and he's got quite a bit of muscle for a shooting guard. It could probably work.
- Garrett Temple - He's a bit undersized for the position, but he's shown himself to be a capable defender in every situation he's been thrown in. There's no reason to think he couldn't do well locking down opposing power forwards given the chance.
- Gary Neal - He played in San Antonio, so he's used to playing basketball where positions are meaningless. Gregg Popovich probably threw him out there at center at some point down there. He'll be fine as a stretch four.
- Ramon Sessions - Definitely small for the position, even in the rapidly shrinking NBA, but if he can maintain the 40 percent clip he shot from beyond the arc after he was traded to Washington, he could be enough of a spacing threat his obvious defensive liabilities wouldn't matter.
- John Wall - There will always be people out there who don't treat Wall like a true point guard, so why not use him as a stretch four? There's not a power forward in the NBA who would be able to stay in front of him at that position.
So with Otto Porter now on board, everyone on the Wizards is now a stretch four. Problem solved. Looking forward to the Wizards' championship parade next summer.