This is the third in a series of articles I have written about potential draft targets for the Detroit Pistons.
Through each of these two previews, one name kept coming up from our readers: Otto Porter.
So rather than wait until Monday when I have been doing these particular articles, I decided to get a jump on it.
Here is my scouting report on Otto Porter.
Scouting Otto Porter, SF-Georgetown
It's hard not to look at Porter and automatically think of one player: Tayshaun Prince.
He is incredibly long, incredibly wiry and incredibly talented.
Early in the year, Porter looked to be somewhat overwhelmed. He had a lot of good games, like an 18-point, 11-rebound performance in a win versus UCLA.
But he also vanished in some games as well, like a nine-point performance in a drubbing against Pittsburgh.
He lacked a consistent set of games that could give scouts a definitive view of his capabilities.
But since the Pittsburgh loss, Porter has been doing a little bit of everything and his scoring has benefited greatly.
In fact, Porter has scored 17 points or more in 12 of those 15 games.
The key to his play seems to not only be increased confidence in his overall game, but confidence in his jumper. He has hit two or more triples in nine of those 15 games, including five against Syracuse on his way to 33 points.
Porter isn't just limited to scoring, although he does that quite well at 17 points per game. He is also averaging over seven boards to go along with two steals and a block per contest.
He also isn't making a lot of mistakes. Despite being very active on both sides of the ball, he is averaging less than two turnovers and only two personal fouls per game.
Watching Porter in Wednesday's game against Villanova, it was striking to see early on how well he played in the full-court press that Georgetown coach John Thompson III employed during the first half.
Porter used his length to disrupt Villanova so drastically early on that it forced their coach to add an extra guard within the first three minutes just to have a chance.
As a huge fan of defense, I really liked seeing Porter play in the full court.
In the halfcourt, Porter is less impressive on the defensive side of the ball, especially against quicker players. With his length, though, he is able to compensate for a lack of elite quickness.
He also plays with a strong motor and tends to bounce around when playing on the ball.
His real strength on defense is coming from the weak side and using his length to disrupt ball handlers. He is perfectly suited to playing zone defense, but I think he might struggle a bit at the next level where he will have to play man-to-man for the most part.
Physical wings will be able to overpower him and quicker players will give him fits.
I do, however, like how vocal he is on defense.
Offensively, there is also a lot to like about Porter. He runs the court well, so he can help fill the wings on the break.
In the half court, Porter plays a lot like Prince. He doesn't blow you away with his quickness or athleticism, but rather uses a high release and good fundamentals to knock down perimeter shots.
He is working on his back-to-the-hoop game, but due to his slight frame this could be tough to get going at the next level. Sure, this was a big part of Prince's game even early on, but this does not seem like the norm with skinny players.
He handles the ball better than Prince did at this point of his development and has similar mechanics with the deep ball.
What I wonder about with Porter is whether or not he is going to be able to create his own shot at the next level. Against Villanova, Porter was basically a forgotten man towards the end of the first half despite being played by less-than-impressive defenders.
But the kid can shoot the rock, and so he will have a place in this league.
How he fits Detroit
Basically, Porter would step in and become either a Tayshaun Prince or an Austin Daye.
He probably would be a little closer to Prince considering his career against tough competition in the Big East.
But how exactly would he improve this team?
The obvious answer is through defense and intensity. Porter is constantly moving and is active on the boards.
But will he be elite at anything in particular?
I could see him having a solid career playing alongside guys like Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but offensively I don't see how he would be that much of an upgrade over your typical solid small forward.
He also isn't an overly exciting player, so fans looking for an explosive wing to pair with Brandon Knight on the perimeter might be disappointed.
Personally, I have questions about Porter's ceiling as a player. Will he have a nice career in the NBA? Probably. Will he be an All-Star? Probably not.
The Pistons definitely need to get this pick right, and Porter certainly is a safe pick. He does just about everything well.
But in my opinion, the Pistons need a dynamic player in this draft, a player that is explosive and a potential star in this league.
Porter will be good, but I don't see him as a fit for this team at such a high pick.
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