Wall, Beal and Porter would give the Wizards a rock-solid foundation for a decade or so. They share the same work-hard philosophy. When Wall joined the Wizards, it was like he came from another planet. Players would ignore coaches. They would goof around and wind up in the wrong places at the worst times. With Beal and Porter sharing the court, Wall would never again have to rely on clowns.
Porter isn’t perfect. He struggled as Georgetown, which finished with a share of the Big East regular-season title, lost to Syracuse during the semifinals of the conference tournament. Then there was Florida Gulf Coast’s stunning first-round upset of second-seeded Georgetown in the NCAA tournament. Porter never got going.
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Anyone, however, can have a bad game or two. Porter’s overall body of work is strong. That’s what he’s being judged on. Combined with his calm demeanor and focus, there’s a lot for any club to like about Porter. Apparently, Porter also looks good to the teams drafting ahead of the Wizards.
In the weeks before the draft lottery, center Nerlens Noel and shooting guard Ben McLemore were considered the top two players in the draft. Recently, though, the buzz around the league is that Cleveland might select Porter first overall. Orlando could take Porter with the second pick. Gifted, reliable youngsters who understand the game don’t come around often.
So what should the Wizards do if Porter is off the board before they pick? It’s simple. They should punt: Trade the pick for a dependable veteran.
The Wizards are confident they’re on the cusp of becoming a playoff team. Grunfeld and Coach Randy Wittman believe they finally have a roster they can count on. Soon it will be time for the Wizards to back up their words. Next season the Wizards have to return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Otherwise, owner Ted Leonsis should make some really big changes.
Getting Porter would help the Wizards win next season and in the future. But focusing on the present — by acquiring a solid player with NBA experience who also must be a solid person — would be a good fallback plan.
The Wizards beat the odds by moving up in the draft. They’ve been given a great opportunity. They would maximize it if they could get Porter.
For previous columns by Jason Reid, visit washingtonpost.com/