So far, the highlight of Otto Porter Jr.’s NBA career has been the kindness he showed to a homeless man for whom he bought lunch. Otherwise, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft has been very quiet, due to a lackluster summer league performance and a hip injury that sidelined him for the entire preseason.
Porter turned himself into a top five pick at Georgetown by showcasing his versatility — rebounding, scoring, ball-handling and leadership — but the knock on him is that he wasn’t dominant in any phase of the game.
With John Wall and Bradley Beal leading the way, the Wizards don’t need Porter to be the savior of the franchise. Still, the rookie forward is eager to make a name for himself.
“I feel like I can come in and make a huge impact with the other guys,” Porter said. “I can help the team make the playoffs. I saw what they did last year, and I think I can push them over the hump. If I can continue to work hard and do what the coaches tell me to do, I’ll be fine.”
For now, it seems as if Porter will spend the start of his NBA career in street clothes. A nagging hip flexor injury has kept him off the court, and he had an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.
In a radio interview on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday, coach Randy Wittman said, “I don’t know who he is and have not had a chance to coach him yet.”
That means, at this point, anything Porter might be able to do to boost the Wizards remains hypothetical, based on his efforts with the Hoyas and pre-draft workouts.
“Otto is going to be great,” Beal said. “But it is going to be a learning process.”
Porter has picked the brains of the Wizards’ young standouts in order to help him make the transition from college a smooth one.
“They told me to learn as much as you can,” Porter said of Wall and Beal. “It’s definitely a long season. You’re going to have your ups and downs.”
Getting back on the floor will be sweet for the unassuming kid who took his first-ever plane ride on his recruiting trip to Georgetown.
“My biggest challenge will be adjusting to the game and the NBA lifestyle,” he said. “I’m learning as much as I can.”