The Wizards traded Otto Porter and Markieff Morris this week to the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans, respectively. Here’s why we will miss them.
Otto Porter grew into Washington’s glue guy
Throughout most of his time in Washington, Porter was the man who held the starting lineup together. In the 2016-17 and 2017-18 NBA seasons, Porter averaged at least 50 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line while scoring in double digits. Porter’s best statistical season was in 2017-18 when he averaged a career-high 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
If there is something that I admired most about Porter, it’s his incremental improvement year over year. Porter’s rookie season in 2013-14 was forgettable after he missed most of the first half due to injury. And Porter spent the following season backing up Paul Pierce where he showed his moments but didn’t have the three point shooting ability just yet.
Over time, Porter became a reliable performer and starter in his own right. He was never able to be a focal part of the Wizards’ offense because John Wall and Bradley Beal were the team’s primary ball handlers. Hopefully we will get a better picture on what Porter can do with the Bulls where he will be a veteran piece in an otherwise young locker room.
Morris was just what the Wizards needed in the 2016-17 season
Markieff Morris came to Washington from the Phoenix Suns where he was disgruntled, in part because his brother Marcus was traded — after they were told by Phoenix that such a trade wouldn’t happen.
In Washington, Morris manned the starting power forward position during most of his time from the latter half of the 2015-16 season through much of the 2018-19 season until he suffered a neck injury which he is still recovering from.
Markieff’s best season in Washington was in 2016-17 when the Wizards won the Southeast Division, went 49-33 in the regular season and pushed the Boston Celtics to seven games in the conference semifinals. In that season, he averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while also shooting 36.2 percent from the three point line.
Morris was never a superstar in Washington. But let’s face it. No championship team has an All-Star at literally every position. Keef held his own during large stretches of that special season. He even started the “Death Row DC” movement which could have very well been that psychological edge the Wizards were looking for at that time.
At the end of the day, I’m going to miss to Otto and Keef. They both had their special moments in D.C. throughout the years. Unfortunately their areas of expertise just didn’t match up with what Washington needed to get more salary cap flexibility. We’ll miss you Otto and Keef.