Otto Porter’s rookie season played out far differently than most would have imagined when the Washington Wizards selected him with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft.
Ankle and hip injuries kept him out of training camp and the season’s first 18 games and the re-emergence of Trevor Ariza during a career year kept Porter on the bench behind him and Martell Webster. Porter’s performance in summer league and heading into next season will be under tight scrutiny as the need to progress the former Georgetown All-American toward his potential becomes more imminent for him and the Wizards’ future.
Here are three numbers to note from Porter’s rookie campaign:
Position where Porter was selected in the 2013 NBA Draft. Of all 34 players picked third overall since 1980, Porter’s average of 2.1 points in 37 regular-season games ranks last. The next worst is Chris Washburn, who, after being selected by the Golden State Warriors, averaged 3.8 points before drug problems ended his career. Of course, the Wizards or NBA hasn’t seen enough out of Porter to label him as a bust and both fortunately and unfortunately for Porter, he’s in good company at the No. 3 spot. Along with Porter’s teammate Bradley Beal, the list also includes Michael Jordan, Kevin McHale, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol and Grant Hill.
In a scenario and statistical sense, Porter probably moreso compares to Darko Milicic, the international sensation who went No. 2 overall between LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in the 2003 NBA Draft and averaged 1.8 points in 34 games during his rookie season with the eventual champion Detroit Pistons.
Points and rebounds recorded by Porter in his best game of the season against Orlando on April 11. The performance displayed Porter’s ability to impact the offensive glass with his long arms and wiry frame as well as score in transition, including a thunderous alley-oop dunk from Andre Miller. The showing matched the career-high output he had nine days earlier in a rout of Boston, but with the playoffs just around the corner, Porter never again saw even close to the 26 minutes he played during the Orlando win.
Porter’s player efficiency rating (PER), which ranked 42nd among 43 rookies this past season. Philadelphia guard and Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams had the highest at 17.6 while No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett yielded a PER of 3.9. Since efficiency directly correlates with playing time his number stands to improve dramatically next season should Porter remain healthy and see more action as expected.