Otto Porter Jr. probably isn't the best player in this year's NBA draft, but given his versatility, he may just be the player that will have the fastest impact on the league.
For teams selecting in the top five that already have a lot of young talent and are looking to turn the proverbial corner, Porter's NBA-ready game makes him a very valuable addition.
On Monday, Porter announced he would be entering this year's draft, as expected. From ESPN:
All-American Otto Porter Jr. is leaving Georgetown after his sophomore season and declaring himself eligible for the NBA draft.
"The toughest part was knowing you're going to leave a great place like this," Porter said Monday at a news conference on campus alongside Hoyas coach John Thompson III. "I love this place."
Porter, ranked fourth overall by ESPN.com's Chad Ford among draft prospects, was the Big East player of the year and finished second in the voting behind Michigan's Trey Burke for The Associated Press player of the year award.
Porter will do a little bit of everything for teams. He can score on the block, has a great mid-range game and added a three to his repertoire this season, shooting 42.2 percent from beyond the arc.
He'll bang the boards, run in transition and play solid defense against more than one position. He's a small forward, but if a team is using a small lineup, he could play some 4.
And he's a team guy. He's just as likely to look for his own shot as he is to find an open teammate or take a charge. If you want a comparison, he's a less athletic Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
He was excellent for Georgetown this season and carried the team to more than a few wins, leading the Hoyas in scoring (16.2 PPG) and rebounding (7.5 RPG). Add to that 1.8 steals and 2.7 assists per game, and the numbers back up the scouting reports that suggest Porter is an all-around asset.
Like any prospect, there is room for improvement. Porter's unselfishness can blend into a lack of aggressiveness, and at times he needs to grab a game by the scruff of the neck and take it over.
But in the NBA—even if he struggles to assert himself as a scorer early in his career—his ability as a rebounder and his excellent defense will mean he should have an instant impact. And I always like a player who has a polished mid-range game, often a lost art in today's NBA.
Porter made the right decision. He has two years of college experience, he'll probably be a top-five pick and he has a well-rounded game. He can always go back to school to finish his degree, but from a career perspective, leaving for the NBA now made the most sense.
When Porter is playing like a polished rookie next season, he'll prove how wise this decision truly was.
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