WASHINGTON — Last offseason, the Washington Wizards made a tough decision to keep Otto Porter on a contract north of $100 million. Now, 20 games into the season, it’s hard to imagine life without Porter in the starting lineup.
He has set career highs in minutes (33.3) and has done more with it, scoring 16 points per game and shooting 54.8 percent from the floor. His increased share of the offense has also aided his role as a three-point shooter, where he is shooting a career-best 48.6 percent.
His ascension couldn’t come at a better time, as the Wizards were off to a rough start the season before John Wall got hurt. With Wall likely to miss two weeks, the spotlight is firmly on Porter to pick up the slack.
In games that Wall has missed this season, Porter has played some of his basketball. In the last two games, Porter is averaging 24 points in 34.5 minutes, including five-for-nine from beyond the arc.
Former Wizard and current NBA analyst Paul Pierce praised Porter’s development, calling him a potential All-Star this season:
“What Otto Porter is doing in the absence of John Wall, I mean, he is showing that he is worth every penny of this $100 million contract he got, and deservedly so,” Paul said on ESPN’s studio discussion.
“This guy is doing everything. He’s going to the basket, he’s rebounding the ball, and he’s shooting the three at a high clip. When you think it’s going to be Bradley Beal, no; Otto Porter gets the call. He nails the big jumper, puts them over the top.”
“I love this kid; I had a chance to work with him. He could be an All-Star someday. I don’t know if that will be this year. Listen, he’s one of the top-five third options you have in the league.”