With the NBA Draft coming up on June 27, now is as perfect a time as ever to examine some of the top prospects in the 2013 Draft Class. This year, the best small forward available will be Otto Porter, the 6'9 sophomore out of Georgetown who was a consensus first team All-American. There are many squads interested in acquiring what the lengthy three-man brings to the table, and the fact of the matter is Porter will be a surefire top 5 selection. Knowing this, let's take a look at why the former Hoya is such a valued player by examining what he provides both offensively and defensively:
Otto Porter's greatest strength on the offensive end is his exceptional ability to create looks for himself away from the basketball. The 20-year-old possesses a constant motor, and it is this high level of energy which allows him to consistently move without the ball. Whether he is cutting backdoor, catching and shooting off screens, or finding the open area, Porter can always be relied on to score because of his constant activity (16.2 ppg on 48% shooting this past season). Also, due to his tremendous length (7'1 wingspan) and high basketball IQ, the forward is capable of constantly drawing fouls and placing himself at the free throw line. Since Porter shot a 77% clip from the stripe this past year, the fact he was able to reach the line 5 times per game is definitely a positive. Other significant aspects of his offensive game include his outstanding ability to take care of the rock (2.7:1.5 assist to turnover ratio), the effort and hustle he provides on the fast break (1.45 PPP in transition), and his knack for knocking down treys when necessary (43-102 from three, which is 42%).
Otto Porter's high, energetic motor causes him to be a strong force on the defensive end as well. The Scott County Central High School product always gives his opponent a tough time offensively, and with the hustle Porter provides as well as his incredible wingspan, the odds the offender gets a clear look at the basket are slim to none. Also, the forward possesses great instincts, and his remarkable ability to predict and react defensively allowed him to finish his sophomore season with averages of 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
Now, I have selected two videos which perfectly portray Porter's strengths on both ends of the court:
1) This first video puts the forward's offensive arsenal on display. Watch closely, as it is evident the majority of his highlights involve him creating shots for himself by moving without the basketball:
2) Video No.2 shows a little bit of everything Porter has to offer. Pay attention to the sophomore's solid facilitation as well as his activity defensively:
Obviously, the kid is extremely talented and is capable of positively contributing to a ball game in multiple different ways. However, like every human being on this earth, he has his flaws. While his strengths outweigh his weaknesses, it is important to review exactly what areas of his game need improvement.
The two biggest negatives of Otto Porter are as follows:
- Porter is 6'9 and only weighs 200 pounds. Unless he focuses on bulking up and adding at least 15 lbs to his skinny frame, there is a good chance the forward will have trouble defensively against players who play his same position.
- He struggles in regards to breaking down his defender and creating his own shot. His ineffectiveness in creating space for himself off the dribble takes away his ability to completely impose his will on a ball game, and if the goal with Porter is for him to possibly become a star, this area of his game needs much improvement.
Overall, Otto Porter is a fantastic ball player who at this point has the potential to become a solid, starting-quality small forward in the association. His energy and constant activity on both ends of the floor is what sets him apart from other three-men in the 2013 Draft Class, as this high motor will allow him to contribute to a ball club in a variety of different ways. In my opinion, Porter would be a perfect fit for every single franchise drafting in the top 5, and in 3-4 years time, I can easily see this young baller placing himself amongst the top 10 small forwards in the NBA.