While it’s still early in the offseason and the immediate outlook for the Wizards at the small forward position is still uncertain, Otto Porter has wasted no time in preparing for the inevitable: finally becoming a integral component of the 2014 Wizards rotation.
So far this summer, the pieces to make such a notion a reality are seemingly falling into place for Otto. Martell Webster is ailing. Trevor Ariza may bolt. Marcin Gortat is publicly vouching for him. Otto also checked in at about seven pounds heavier on this year’s Summer League roster, suggesting he’s been working the barbell at the gym. Hell, the Wizards even neglected to bring in a new rookie to develop! But the most important key to this offseason for Porter has to be his performance and development in the Summer League tournament, which begins next week in Vegas.
Per Michael Lee’s report from the Wizards’ first Summer League minicamp session at the Verizon Center, Porter has already written up a to-do list, realized our expectations of him, and hasn’t wasted a step. Lee hinted in his post that Porter had taken charge of his summer mates on the practice court along with fellow 2013 draftee Glen Rice, Jr., and that Porter had displayed a whole new element of aggression in areas where he was often seen timid last year. Lee also noted that on one play, Porter grabbed a rebound, sped up the court before the defense could adjust and shot a floater in the lane. You know, the kind of open form skills the Wiz drafted him third overall for in last year’s draft.
He was also caught on Vine by Truth About It splashing a few 3’s. At 6’9, Porter’s ability to elevate over defenders and shoot efficiently could become a paramount aspect of his game.
“It’s about adapting to your situation and this year, I definitely want to adapt to the summer league games, being more assertive, more aggressive, trying to be a leader on this team.”
Would you look at that. Young bruh iterating his desire to be a leader on this team got me tear-jerking out here. It’s like a baby giraffe stabilizing its legs. Simba moving on from Mufasa’s death and taking charge of the Pride. Michael Corleone stepping up in place of Vito. Jon Snow forgetting his past to defend The Wall. Luckily for Porter, and for us fans, it’s all a simple matter of being given the opportunity. After accumulating the third least amount of minutes ever by a rookie who was a top 3 pick (Greg Oden and Darko Milicic being the others), we’ve all been left in the dark about what Porter can bring to this team, or what he can do in this league. I mean come on, poor dude’s got YouTube highlight videos labeled with titles so contrived, like a desperate attempt to big up his performance like it was Kobe’s 81 game. “OTTO PORTER 9 POINTS FULL HIGHLIGHTS”. Here, watch one anyway.
As we await the conclusion of this free agency fiasco, it’s unquestionably relieving to see Otto preparing for his time regardless of the outcome. The mind frame is sharpening. The skills are being polished. The chance must soon be given. Time to get this money. Otto P. Out.