Georgetown standout forward Otto Porter Jr. was a consensus first-team All-American for his efforts in the 2012-13 NCAA season, and he'll likely be a lottery pick in the 2013 NBA draft, too.
Porter is in Chicago this week for the NBA Scouting Combine, and he's one of the first small forward prospects expected to come off the board in June—at which time we'll know the exact order of the first 14 picks after Tuesday night's NBA draft lottery.
For now, though, teams are getting their first in-person look at prospects in Chicago, and Porter is among those in attendance. Like many lottery picks, though, he will not risk injury or poor play in front of so many observers, as reported by Stu Durando of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
stu durando @studurando
Otto Porter tells me he won't work out at Combine, only going through physical assessments such as vertical, and interviews.2013-5-16 14:21:03
Porter was officially listed at 6' 7.5'' and gained an inch when he put on shoes, per the late Thursday report from ESPN's Chad Ford ("insider" access required). Here's a complete look at some of the highlights from Porter being measured:
|Ht||Ht (w/ Shoes)||Wt||Wingspan||Reach|
|6' 7.5''||6' 8.5''||197.6||7' 1.5''||8' 9.5''|
Ford noted that Porter's wingspan is extremely long for his position:
Chad Ford @chadfordinsider
Otto Porter was big with a 6'7.5" in socks and 6' 8.5" in shoes measurement . He has a very big 7'1.5" wing.2013-5-17 00:47:12
Porter, who was the 2013 Big East Player of the Year, will be busy with lottery teams teams all week in Chicago.
He was in and out of interviews on Thursday afternoon at the combine, and the Charlotte Bobcats' Twitter account made sure to post a picture of Porter surrounded by reporters in the middle of the festivities. Charlotte, who has the second-best lottery odds at 19.9 percent, is guaranteed at least the No. 5 pick in the 2013 draft:
Charlotte Hornets @hornets
Otto Porter o_porter22 talks with media at the @NBA draft combine http://t.co/BerFZ5iBk92013-5-16 15:24:41
So far, Charlotte is among the teams Porter has met with, courtesy of this tweet from Washington Post reporter Michael Lee:
Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee
Otto Porter met with CHA, PHX & OKC. Said he decided to go pro after sitting down with JTIII & Big John, who convinced him he was ready2013-5-16 15:49:22
A two-year starter for Thompson's Hoyas, Porter has had legitimate NBA size and skills since he first walked on to the Georgetown campus. His improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 was ten-fold—nearly all of the major offensive categories went up in production from his freshman to sophomore year.
NBA teams noticed.
Porter and Anthony Bennett are currently the top two SF prospects on the board, meaning that teams in the 1-10 range are going to do their due diligence when it comes to finding out about whether or not he can contribute to their roster.
One such team, the Detroit Pistons, would love to add Porter to the mix (currently have the seventh-best odds at the No. 1 pick), and in the process would join Porter with a fellow ex-Hoya in center/power forward standout Greg Monroe.
So far, there's been a lot of buzz in Chicago about how Porter would be an ideal fit for the Pistons.
For starters, he compares his body type, game and future ability to that of former Piston and NBA champion Tayshaun Prince, as reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Keith Langlois of NBA.com also notes that Porter would mesh well with Detroit's young talent:
Keith Langlois @Keith_Langlois
Otto Porter, working out at G'town and has same agent, David Falk, as Greg Monroe. Compares self to T Prince. Yup, sees himself as good fit.2013-5-16 15:35:32
As a sophomore, Porter averaged 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the Hoyas. His shooting percentage (48 percent) was down from his freshman season, but all of his other major categories, including a 42.2 percent clip from the three-point line and 77.7 percent mark from the free-throw line, are up.
Prince seems to be the consensus comparison around NBA scouting circles, and the worst-case scenario situation is another former Piston—Austin Daye (via NBA.com).
As Bleacher Report NBA lead writer Jonathan Wasserman notes in his preview of Porter's potential, the two-year NCAA standout is a player who doesn't excel in one particular area. He's a jack-of-all-trades type athlete who can do everything on the court well, but doesn't have one characteristic that stands out the most.
If there was a characteristic to bank on, it would be his length. At 6'8", Porter should victimize opposing forwards at the next level when he adds a few more pounds of muscle and is able to adapt to the physicality of the NBA game—especially on defense.
His 40 percent shooting from outside might need a year or two to officially translate, but once it does, there's little doubt he will be a nice spot-up addition to any offense on the outside.
Porter is also an established cutter, uses his body well in transition and can absorb contact at the rim and still finish the play.
The pieces surrounding Porter are coming back positive, and place him as a no-doubt lottery pick once June's draft gets underway.
Porter will undoubtedly be a lottery pick in June.
As one of the few marquee small forward prospects in the entire draft, he'll be highly sought after in the first few picks, and may even get a few looks as the No. 1 player, depending on which team wins the pick on Tuesday night at the draft lottery.
Cleveland, New Orleans, Washington and Detroit are all lottery teams who would benefit from drafting Porter with their first pick, and when the lottery is over, we'll have a much better understanding of which teams will have the first crack at taking him off the board.
No matter what, though, Porter likely will not last beyond the first seven picks.
Shabazz Muhammad has been a steady dropper because of his one-dimensional play in college and all the baggage surrounding his game, and Anthony Bennett will be coming off surgery when the 2013-14 season begins.
Glen Rice III returning to school helped pave the way for Porter to be a consensus top-five to top-seven pick, and as long as no scandal or medical red flag pops up during the scouting process, you can pencil in Porter as a starting small forward on a top-seven lottery team starting next year.
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