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Daily Digits: Otto Porter never turns the ball over

NBA: Washington Wizards-Media Day Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at a stat about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how it affects the product on the court.

Today’s stat is Otto Porter Jr.’s career turnover percentage, which is...


Turnover percentage is a calculation of how often a player (or team) turns the ball over per 100 plays.

Throughout his career, Porter has been one of the league’s best at avoiding turnovers. He currently has the fifth-best turnover percentage ever among players who have played at least 9,000 minutes and he has the best mark among active players who have reached that minutes threshold.

The top of the list is filled with catch-and-shoot threats (James Jones, Anthony Morrow, etc.) and traditional low-post scorers (LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson, etc.) who don’t turn the ball over a lot because they don’t do much with the ball other than shoot it.

So as you might expect, the players who do the best at avoiding turnovers usually aren’t the ones creating opportunities for others. Last season, Porter only averaged 3.2 assists per 100 possessions, which was among 20 lowest averages in the league for someone who played as much as he did. However, that’s still an encouraging step forward for Porter, whose previous best mark was just 2.6 per 100 possessions.

Porter’s efficiency handling the ball has been extremely useful in Washington, because it offsets when John Wall and Bradley Beal struggle. However, his reluctance or inability to take on a larger role as a facilitator is part of what puts them both in suboptimal positions in the first place. Striking the right balance between developing as a third playmaker and maintaining his efficiency will be one of the keys to determining if the Wizards can get out of their funk this season. His turnover percentage will offer a useful look at how he’s evolving in that area this season.