Porter Jr. Becoming A Valuable Asset For Washington
The Washington Wizards started the 2016-17 season with absolutely nothing going their way. They’re 7-13 record over their first 20 games was not expected, and neither was the shine of four-year forward Otto Porter Jr.
With Porter Jr. filling the stat-sheet on a nightly basis, as well as magnificent play from dynamic duo John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington has won seven of their last ten games. Their record now stands at a steady 14-16, with hopes of reaching the playoffs in 2017. They remain a half game back from 8th place in the Eastern Conference.
Porter Jr. is easily having a career year. Currently coming off a 32-point, 13-rebound explosion in Monday night’s victory over Milwaukee, the 6’9” forward is now averaging 14.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 assists per game throughout 30 contests this season. Porter Jr. became the first Washington Wizards player with multiple 30+ point, 10+ rebound games in a season since Andray Blatche in 2009-2010. His shooting numbers have been off-the-charts too. Porter Jr. shot 13/18 from the field and 5/9 from three-point range in Monday’s win, boosting his shooting percentages to 54.8% from the field and 43.5% from deep. Porter Jr. now has a career-high six double-double’s this season and has turned heads across the league while doing so.
Porter–a restricted free agent this offseason–has been playing so well that two Washington Wizards front-office executives told ESPN’s Zach Lowe they expect to give the former No. 3 overall pick a maximum contract in free-agency. Whether you agree, or not, Washington must lock up Porter Jr. so other teams don’t attempt to sign him.
Porter Jr. is becoming an extremely valuable option for Washington. Himself, John Wall, and Bradley Beal have the ability to lead their team into the playoffs if they continue executing victories at ease. With Wall orchestrating the offense, Beal knocking down his mid-range and three-point shots, and Porter Jr. doing a bit of everything, there’s no reason why the Wizards shouldn’t sneak into the postseason.
The rise of Otto Porter Jr. may be the best thing that’s happened to Washington all season. To receive a max contract, though, he will have to keep up his efficient production all season, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t.