With a projected field that lacks certainty and star power, Otto Porter has emerged as one of the better bets in the class.
Porter's potential was made obvious as a freshman, and he's fulfilling his promise as a sophomore at Georgetown. He's a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type of guy, leaving his fingerprints on every possession as either a scorer, playmaker, rebounder or defender.
In fact, Porter's only glowing weakness is that he's not great in any particular area of the game.
There are certainly no question marks regarding Porter's physical tools. At 6'8'' with broad, basketball shoulders, Porter has plenty of room for additional bulk. Right now he's a tad on the skinny side, but it doesn't affect his ability to play on the interior. He has a tremendous wingspan that he uses to grab loose balls and finish around defenders.
Porter is also incredibly mobile, with the ability to get up and down the floor or get to the rim from the perimeter. If he were an airplane, the worst kind of turbulence wouldn't knock him off his path.
Below, Porter snatches up a loose rebound and takes it coast to coast for a layup in traffic.
Reliable Strengths and Versatility
While Porter may not have one particular skill that he can rely on for points, it's his overall versatility that allows him to exploit every potential advantage.
He uses his length to finish at the rim and his foot speed to get there. Small forwards lack his size while power forwards lack his quickness.
Here's an example of Porter using his length and balance to absorb contact and finish after it:
With under 20 seconds left and his team down one, Porter shows off his mobility and agility to get to the rim and finish comfortably:
He's an extremely effective slasher, with the ability to catch and gather on the move before finishing with balance in traffic.
Porter is also money in the mid-range. You won't find a more automatic jumper from 10-to-20 feet. Porter can put it on the floor and pull-up or spread the court by spotting up from deep.
Against Syracuse, Porter knocked down five three-pointers en route to 33 points and a win at the Carrier Dome. He actually shot over 42 percent from three this year, mostly coming in spot-up situations. Porters ability to make shots from all over the floor allow him to help spread the defense when he doesn't have the ball.
Even without a go-to move in the arsenal, he's still shown the ability to take over a game.
He's also an unselfish and visionary passer. He could go stretches without attempting a shot if it meant creating open looks for teammates and a quality brand of ball.
Defensively, Porter is an asset. His versatility and activity level are both desirable qualities that can provide lineup flexibility. Though he lacks the strength to defend NBA power forwards like Carlos Boozer, his length and effort should allow him to guard 4s like Thaddeus Young or Gerald Wallace.
And as a natural small forward, he should be capable of defending perimeter scoring wings at the 2 and the 3 spots.
Porter's main weakness is that he doesn't have a primary strength. This isn't a bad thing, it just limits his overall upside.
Improving as a perimeter shot-creator would make him a more threatening offensive player with the ball in his hands.
Normally, teams drafting in the top three might have a problem with Porter's ceiling. But not in this draft. In this draft, teams drafting at the top will take a player with a ceiling equivalent to Tayshaun Prince's if they know he can reach it.
Draft Breakdown and NBA Outlook
Though Porter averaged 16 points per game, he doesn't project as a go-to scorer at the next level. He's more of an effective finisher off others' creativity.
Porter is a glue guy—someone you can stick into any lineup without disrupting the offensive rhythm.
NBA teams will know what they're getting if they draft Porter. He doesn't have the upside of a superstar, but every lineup needs at least one player with Porter's versatile skill set.
Expect Porter to have a long, successful career as a reliable, valuable member of a winning team's supporting cast.
Cleveland will give Porter a look at No. 1 considering their need for a wing, but chances are he ends up with a team like Washington at No. 3. It would be hard to imagine him slipping out of the top five.