With the NBA draft inching closer, our friends at CSNChicago.com are analyzing prospects leading up to the draft on June 27 in New York.
Tuesday, they broke down Otto Porter, a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Georgetown:
Widely viewed as the most NBA-ready prospect in the draft, the small-town Missouri native isn't flashy, but he has a complete, fundamentally sound game, stemming from his old-school background that didn't include summers spent playing on the AAU circuit. Porter is long, versatile, can shoot the ball and makes an impact on both ends of the court -- all with a steady demeanor. While he doesn't project as a superstar on the next level, the lanky wing has the potential to make an immediate impact in the league and be a mainstay for years to come.
As a freshman, Porter was solid upon arrival in the nation's Capital, averaging nearly 10 points and seven rebounds per game on a veteran squad, including big performances against Louisville (14 points, 14 rebounds) and Pittsburgh (20 points). His sophomore year, Porter made a big jump, evolving into the team's primary scoring option and a dominant player, as evidenced by his 33-point, eight-rebound effort against Big East rival Syracuse in the last conference game the Hoyas played at the Carrier Dome during a long winning streak. Behind his impressive campaign of 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, as well as 42.2 percent three-point shooting, Georgetown was ranked amongst the nation's elite teams last season and, despite a shocking first-round upset at the hands of tournament darling Florida Gulf Coast, the efficient Porter was named a first-team All-American in addition to taking home league player-of-the-year honors.
A patient offensive player who doesn't need to dominate the ball in order to produce, Porter's mid-range game and ability to knock down long-range jumpers are often praised, but he's also capable of scoring in transition, on offensive rebounds or by moving without the ball, a hallmark of Georgetown's offense. Defensively, he can guard multiple positions, uses his length to be a shot-blocking presence and is willing to mix it up inside on the glass, displaying competitiveness that contrasts his mild-mannered nature. Porter's best trait could be his understanding of the game, as he doesn't rely on his fluid athleticism but instead has a knack for making the right play, is a solid passer for his size and has a nose for the ball.
His slender frame could certainly stand to get stronger, as he'll need more bulk to be able to contend with bigger opponents on the next level, especially because he isn't the most explosive athlete. Offensively, while he's a competent ballhandler, he's not yet a breakdown threat off the dribble in isolation situations, nor did he showcase the ability to play in pick-and-roll scenarios, though that isn't a major aspect of the offense he played in at Georgetown. The biggest knock against Porter, however, is the fear that his acceptance of playing within the system and himself might not translate into the type of top-tier player many expect from a prospect with his lofty draft status.
Porter is expected to be a top-three pick and is regarded as the safest choice in the draft, although he doesn't necessarily have the most upside. His maturity and high I.Q. should allow him to be a starter upon arrival in the NBA. And because of his maturity, versatility, defensive acumen and outside-shooting prowess, it would only be a surprise if he didn't develop into a consistent, long-term small forward for the team that selects him. The beauty of Porter's game is that he has the potential to fit with virtually any style of play or existing personnel and as long as there aren't expectations for him to put up gaudy statistics or become a prolific one-on-one scorer, he has excellent value, particularly in a draft class with so many of his peers being almost unknown commodities.