As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Otto Porter's season...
Player: Otto Porter
Position: Small forward
2016-17 stats: 80 G, 32.6 mpg, 13.4 ppg, 1.5 apg, 6.4 rpg, 1.5 spg, 0.5 bpg, 51.6 FG%, 43.4 3P%, 83.2 FT%, 60.8 eFG%, 129 ORtg, 108 DRtg
2017-18 storyline: Porter is set to experience something his teammates John Wall and Bradley Beal know quite well. This summer he received a max contract, one that paid him a lot of money for what the Wizards hope and expect him to become. Like Wall and Beal before him, it's up to Porter to keep getting better and give the Wizards a return on their investment. In the first seasons of their max contracts, Wall and Beal took major leaps, making the Wizards look very smart. If Porter can do the same, the Wizards will be in an enviable spot.
Porter had a breakout season of sorts in 2016-17, as he finished second in the league in offensive rating, fourth in the NBA in three-point percentage and fifth in effective field goal percentage. Porter was the most efficient Wizards player, but there remains plenty of room to grow in his game on both ends of the floor.
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In the press conference for his four-year, $106 million deal, Porter highlighted specific areas he hopes to improve. He wants to have a better handle for creating his own shot and getting to the rim. And he wants to add muscle to be able to guard bigger players so the Wizards can continue developing small-ball lineups.
Both of those ideas sound great for the Wizards. The more he can do to take pressure off of Wall and Beal on the offensive end, the better. And now that Porter has put up the three-point numbers he did in 2016-17, he will likely need to diversify his attack to stay ahead of opponents. Defensively, the more versatility he has, the more the Wizards can play him and Kelly Oubre together. Last season the Wizards found success with Wall, Beal, Porter and Oubre on the floor together, as a foursome that could easily switch from position to position. Porter is arguably the best candidate of that group to prevent breakdowns with bigger and stronger fours.
One other area to watch out for with Porter is his passing. So far in his NBA career, he has posted modest assist numbers largely due to his role in the offense. But Porter is an underrated passer and it would not be a surprise if the Wizards ultimately started running more offense through him to highlight his ability to set up others.
Potential to improve: Ball-handling, defensive versatility, passing.
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