Otto Porter Jr. joined the Washington Wizards on their two-game preseason road trip through Detroit and Cincinnati and is expected to receive a medical checkup on his injured right hip when the team returns to Washington.
On Tuesday, Porter continued his routine of putting up shots after shootaround and fulfilling his rookie duties of collecting shoes to help load up the team bus. After the Wizards lost to Detroit, 99-96, on Tuesday night, Porter strolled over to the Pistons’ locker room to catch up with Greg Monroe, who also attended Georgetown and tallied a game-high 18 points against the Wizards.
Porter has been sidelined with a right hip flexor since Sept. 14 and doesn’t have a timetable for his return. He recently said that his hip “still hurts.” Monroe said he’s confident that Porter will be able to find his way whenever he makes his debut.
“I talked to him before training camp to make sure he’s good,” Monroe said. “He’s fine. I’m always [at Georgetown] in the summer and he’s been there. He’s a very intelligent kid, very mature. He doesn’t have much to worry about off the court.”
Wizards Coach Randy Wittman reiterated this week that he isn’t sure what to expect of Porter once he is able to practice.
“I got to have him on the floor. Now we think he can do certain things and, I’m being honest with you, I’ve got to see him interact in this fold. We saw a little bit, not a lot, this summer. Summer league and NBA is two different things.
“So I mean, I think he’s going to be a solid guy. He understands the game. I got to see his strengths and obviously, his conditioning is going to be way off,” Wittman said. “His head is going to be spinning like he’s got vertigo, just because he hasn’t been out there yet. By the time he gets out there, we’re going to be playing regular season games. It’s going to be boom, boom, boom, all of sudden you’ve played 10 games. And it’s: ‘Oh! I didn’t play 10 games [in college] until January.’ Like any rookie, like we talked about Bradley [Beal] last year. I just need to get him out there.”
Porter is the fourth first-round pick to play for John Thompson III at Georgetown. Monroe, Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green have all gone on to have productive NBA careers, with Hibbert making an all-star team. Monroe believes Porter will keep the tradition going.
“It’s an adjustment,” Monroe said. “Right now he’s at the top two toughest positions to play at in this league. He definitely has to get stronger. He’s fine. He’s going to learn. His work ethic is through the roof. I know he’ll grow up real fast.”