D.C. media, basketball thinkers debate Wiz at 3

D.C. media, basketball thinkers debate Wiz at 3
June 17, 2013, 10:15 am
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Otto Porter talks pre-draft workouts with Chris Miller

Updated 2:03 p.m.

The goal, rather simple: Take an unofficial poll of CSN staff, D.C. media types, national college basketball reporters and those in the know about the NBA Draft. 

The question: Who should the Wizards select with the No. 3 overall pick? 

Many respondents assumed, based on most credible mock drafts, that Kentucky center Nerlens Noel would not be available at three. Kansas guard Ben McLemore is a frequent projection for the Orlando Magic at No. 2. Maryland center Alex Len is a possibility for the Wizards as is Indiana guard Victor Oladipo, but ultimately the debate for most centered on a pair of forwards, Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr. and UNLV's Anthony Bennett. 

Ultimately, there really was no debate. Of the 22 participants, 19 went with the versatile and defensively gifted Porter, the Big East Player of the Year. The 6-foot-8 sophomore visited with the Wizards on Friday. Bennett (who garnered the other three votes from the writers polled) and Noel also stopped by the Verizon Center in recent days, the only three of the likely options to have done so, though time remains before the June 27 draft. Of course, we now know the Wizards are traveling to see Oladipo rather than the other way around.

*Even considering a certain amount of local bias or simple familiarity with Porter after two years with the Hoyas versus Bennett, who flashed his considerable scoring skills over one season in the Mountain West conference, the gap is rather large for what is considered a close call. Then again, even a reporter who covered the UNLV star leaned for the Hoya in the context of the Wizards best option. One NBA league source also tabbed Porter for the locals.

*If conducted immediately after the Wizards received lottery luck and moved into the No. 3 position, my spidey sense believes something akin to a 50-50 split (60-40, tops) would have occurred. Several respondents, as shown in their responses below, indicated a hesitancy with Bennett as more discussion took place following the May 21 lottery about his physical conditioning and defensive concerns. Others indicated tentativeness with backing any of the options because of the much discussed uncertainty throughout the top of the draft.  

What is certain, me posting the thoughts of those kind enough to share theirs on the record....

The CSN crew 

*"Because of his local roots at Georgetown, his multifaceted game, and his lack of a major or overwhelming question mark, Otto Porter is the safest and most likely pick for Washington at No. 3. The situation will be more complicated if Ben McLemore or Nerlens Noel falls to Washington in this spot, but Porter fills an immediate need and still has considerable room for growth, making him most desirable at No. 3 if he's available." - Daniel Martin 

*"Unless one of the top guys fall, it's Anthony Bennett. The Wizards need to hit this one big and I'm concerned going with a "safe pick" will turn into a regret a few years down the road, especially with Bennett, Oladipo, and Len on the board. In taking Bennett the Wizards can both fill a need and get a player with massive potential. He can run the fast break, spread the floor with his jumper, and has the body to play down low. He will be a star whether it's here or elsewhere." - Chase Hughes 

*"If the Wizards keep the pick (and I'm not completely convinced that they should), they should consider taking Alex Len but ultimately take Otto Porter, Jr. if he is still there. Porter is not a freakishly athletic player but he is a skilled and versatile player with a high hoops IQ and ready to be a contributor in the NBA. He would be a nice piece for a team that would still need an impact player to make them a legit NBA playoff team not just one vying for the 8th spot." - Joe Yasharoff 

*"I have no idea what the Wiz should do. I was firmly on Team Bennett for a while, but as happens with the draft, I'm slowly talking myself out of the UNLV star. Bennett is overweight and has conditioning issues while in college. Is that going to change once he has a few million bucks sitting around? Bennett has more upside than Porter, but Otto won't be a bust. After rooting for Lez Boulez my whole life, I might go with the safe pick." - JP Finlay 

*"I have gone back and forth from Anthony Bennett, to Otto Porter, but as we move closer to the actual draft day, I feel that Otto Porter will provide the Wizards with a versatile player on both ends.  He will defend multiple positions, as well as stretch opponents defensively with his ability to produce from three-point range." - Christy Winters-Scott 

The writers

*"Otto Porter. He's younger and better than the other top prospects, and he plays a position of need considering Martell Webster is a free agent and wouldn't be a great long-term solution anyway." - Dan Feldman, ProBasketballTalk.com

*"With so many mystery men at the top of this draft, the Wizards would know what they are getting with Porter." - Matt Youmans, Las Vegas Review-Journal 

*"The Wizards should select Anthony Bennett because he has potential to be a double-double machine and would not need John Wall to create his own offense. Bennett could be an All-Star regular someday and opportunities to draft a player with his talents do not come along often." - Adam McGinnis, TruthAboutIt.net

*"It's almost too simple. Otto Porter fits a need, and before all is said and done, he still could be the most talented player of the 2013 draft class, despite so-called experts already wanting to fit him with a freshly designed ceiling. But alas, fans of #SoWizards should plan on the player they wanted to tank for, but really didn't, but then surprisingly jumped from the eight pick to third to get ... not being available. Oh, the sweet irony when, on June 27th, it will be announced... "With the first pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers select... Otto Porter!" - Kyle Weidie, TruthAboutIt.net

*"Otto Porter Jr. At times last winter, Porter was playing the best basketball of anybody that called the Verizon Center home. The Wizards need to keep the do everything Missouri native in Chinatown for the oh next decade or so." - Bobby Bancroft, 106.7 The Fan 

*"Otto Porter. He'd be a perfect complement to John Wall and Bradley Beal. Gives the Wizards another "good guy" in the locker room and strengthens the connection between them and Georgetown. It's a no-brainer." - Elliott Smith, Post Express 

*"The top two teams may trade down, but I think Otto Porter will still be around at No. 3 for the Wizards. And he's a perfect fit." - Jeffrey Tomik, Post Express

The talkers

*"Otto Porter. Safer pick and can play both sides of the ball. Bennett is the upside pick but the shoulder surgery and injury history plus lack of desire to play defense to this point have me higher on Porter." - Holden Kushner, 106.7 The Fan

*"Otto Porter, he's the most ready player at both ends of the floor in the draft. He can score, facilitate for others, and rebound. He showed lots of improvement in his two years at Georgetown. He's not a guy that is going to stop working when he gets to the pro's. He wants to be great.  No brainer if he's on the board at 3." - Scott Jackson, ESPN980

*"Otto Porter…because this time the safe pick is the right pick." - Scott Linn, ESPN 980

*"Give me a trade involving DeMarcus Cousins.  Im only partially kidding... I know that isn't an option so with the 3rd pick give me Otto Porter.  I'll take a 6'8" small forward with great character, a hard-work ethic and the fact that he shot .422% from 3-pt range last year doesn't hurt.  In a draft thats full of question marks, finding the one with the least amount of them is where you need to go.  Give me Porter (assuming he's still available)." - Adam Bradley, Ball Hogs Radio/Wizards Xtra

*"If he falls to them at 3, Otto Porter makes a ton of sense. He can contribute without having the ball in his hands every possession. He'll do a bit of everything and still has a ton of room to develop. The evolution of his offensive game from freshman to sophomore year tells me that there's more in store. If Porter is off the board (seems increasingly possible given some of the overtures), I'm a huge Anthony Bennett guy. Some have called him a tweener, I see a matchup problem. Too big and strong for 3s and too quick for 4s. The mid range game is there and he's an excellent rebounder for his size. The league is evolving away from two oafs down on the block and going small is trendy. I really believe this kid could thrive in the right spot." - Danny Rouhier, 106.7 The Fan