Wizards won't rush Porter's development

Wizards won't rush Porter's development
September 17, 2013, 8:45 am
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When a team takes a player high in the draft lottery, such as the Wizards with Otto Porter at No. 3 overall in June, high expectations accompany it.

Bradley Beal, taken third in the 2012 draft, started immediately in Washington at shooting guard. It took him a while to get acclimated but he made an impact by starting 46 of the 56 games he played in an injury-plagued season.

No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who was taken second by the Charlotte Bobcats, were starters, too.

That path, however, seems unlikely for Porter, who struggled through right hamstring tightness that limited his participation in the Las Vegas summer league. 

Coach Randy Wittman isn't going to put pressure the 6-8 small forward to start or be the savior of a franchise that hasn't qualified for the postseason since 2008. Most of that responsibility will rest on the shoulders of John Wall, who signed an $80 million extension in the off-season.

There are no illusions with Porter. While Wall is the face of the franchise who makes his teammates better, Porter is regarded as more of a "glue" player who can fill various roles on both ends of the floor. They don't expect him to go on 40-point outbursts or be the closer in the fourth quarter. 

While that will lead to plenty of questions from the outside about what's wrong with Porter, it fits the bigger picture that Wittman appears to have in mind. The front office, as well as Porter, seem to be on board with that plan.

There's a lot of competition at small forward with Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza and to a lesser degree at the moment Chris Singleton. Webster is the team's best three-point shooter and Ariza is its best one-on-one defender.

By season's end, however, Ariza could be gone as a free agent when his contract expires. Singleton has a team option that the Wizards might not pick up. And Porter could then be ready for a greater role.