Wake-up call: Otto Porter, Glen Rice lead at mini-camp

Wake-up call: Otto Porter, Glen Rice lead at mini-camp
July 8, 2014, 6:00 am
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It's evident in the posture of Otto Porter that he knows he belongs. That didn't always appear to be the case last season when he was a rookie for the Wizards, unsure of himself even as a No. 3 overall pick. This is his second mini-camp leading up to tip off for Las Vegas summer league this weekend.  

Porter and Glen Rice are the only two players among the 16 on the summer league roster to have contracts for the 2014-15 season. The others are trying to play their way in -- here, or somewhere else. 

"We have been through it all so we know what to kind of expect the first practice unlike last year being nervous," said Porter, who was limited by a right leg and hip injuries and never could get from behind Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster in the rotation. "These guys are nervous. They're asking me and Glen questions about offense and where to rotate defensively. We just try to help them come along."

Everything started to go wrong for Porter right about this time. He strained his hamstring in mini-camp and couldn't finish play in summer league because of a recurrence. 

[RELATED: Marcin Gortat sticks up for Otto Porter on Twitter]

"This year I'm looking to play all my games," he said. The Wizards' first game is Saturday vs. the Atlanta Hawks.

He has been training with Rice, who had surgery on his right wrist in December, all summer. 

"It's a battle. We don't want to hurt each other, but it's competitive," Porter said. "We just try to make each other better leading up to summer league because we want to do good. This is our season. Off-season is our season."

With the uncertainty now surrounding the return of Ariza, an unrestricted free agent, and back surgery for Webster that will keep him out as many as five months, that's a good thing for the Wizards to hear. 

"Otto was out there talking a lot today, making sure guys were in the right spot," Rice said. "I'm doing the same."