Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown (SO) [6/3/1993] - 6'8", 200lbs
While rated a 4-star player out of high school and carrying various offers, Otto Porter didn’t receive the national attention that some of his classmates. Overlooked somewhat coming out of high school, partially due to not playing AAU at all during his career, Porter managed to have a solid but unspectacular freshman year at Georgetown. But with a lot of the Hoyas key players moving on, Porter took a center role and he didn’t disappoint.
Essentially putting the Georgetown team on his back and carrying them throughout the year, Porter did a little bit of everything to help make the Hoyas into one of the better teams in college basketball. On the offensive end, there wasn’t a thing Porter didn’t or couldn’t do.
In the Princeton offense and more so because of the Hoyas lacked a true point guard, Porter shouldered a heavy load of handling the ball and initiating offense for others. While that won’t be his main role in the NBA, Porter showed he could do it well and do it effectively. Possessing a high basketball IQ and a good understanding of the game, Porter was a good passer and was able to set-up his teammates on a consistent basis.
Because of the offense he played in, Porter got a lot looks in the post where he scored often and efficiently because of his advanced low-post game for a player of his age and position. Porter showed good patience, footwork and touch down-low when playing with his back to the basket. Largely being a perimeter player, he also showed the ability to face-up and either shoot or take players off the dribble. But often playing against smaller opponents, Porter was able to take advantage of that in the post.
The place where Porter improved the most on the offensive end was with his jump-shot, which he transformed from a liability to a weapon. His 3PT% jumped from 22% to 42% this year and his FT% also saw an increase to 77% from 70% from the previous year. His mid-range game proved to be a reliable part of his game, as did his 3PT range. He’s a much better shooter when his feet were set but showed off his ability to hit shots off the dribble in the mid-range. He will need to continue improving in this area and show teams that the major jump in percentages wasn’t a fluke.
The biggest area that Porter will need to improve on is his ball-handling, which could limit him somewhat early on. While he does possess good ball-handling skills for a small forward, they don’t necessarily translate to him being to create his shot on a consistent basis. While not possessing an elite first step, he is a crafty player in changing speeds in getting to spaces on the floor. But in order to become a better scorer and create more space on offense, he needs to improve his ball-handling.
A catalyst on the offensive end, Porter also showed well defensively where he guarded just about anyone and everyone. Porter’s length, basketball IQ and good athletic ability allowed him to be a versatile defender in college. In the pro’s he’ll likely be assigned to 3’s on a nightly basis and could potentially guard 4’s in small ball lineups. His length and strength will help him put up with the physical pounding he’ll take going up against forwards but his average lateral quickness is something to watch, as quicker more athletic forwards can give him some problems.
The key stat about Porter is his high rate of steals. He has quick hands and showed good anticipation in the passing lane, which helped him average nearly 3 steals per game. Steals are one of the key indicators of athleticism and success for a college prospect at a NBA level, where one of Porter’s strengths lie in. He also managed to rack up several rebounds game-in and game-out, which speaks to his versatility as a player.
There isn’t a thing that Porter can’t do on the floor, which makes him one of the most versatile players in the draft. It also potentially makes him one of the safest. His upside may not be as high as some of the players but he just 19 years old and is highly skilled and polished for his age.
While some will view Porter’s jack-of-all-trades game as a major plus, some could also view it as a negative in that he doesn’t excel in any one particular area. He does a lot of things well but nothing excellent.
In the end, Porter’s combination of skills and high character make for him to be a safe pick. He’s already got a unique skillset at a young age, which means there’s still some room for him to grow and improve. Porter may not make several All-Star teams but he’ll be a vital player for whatever team choose him for several years.