With Paul Pierce on his way out to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Washington Wizards are going to make Otto Porter Jr. their starting small forward, unless there’s a surprising development in the next month or two.
Pierce is opting out of his second and final year of the deal to join the Los Angeles Clippers and Doc Rivers, or so it seems. The Wizards can enter the market and try to bring in a free agent at the position while Porter continues to develop or even draft someone like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (good defender, not great offensively) or Sam Dekker (probably gone before the 19th pick). Mike Dunleavy, Omri Casspi, Mirza Teletovic and others are also options.
But why not Porter, who had an impressive postseason with the Wizards, and is probably ready to take on more minutes after a bad rookie year and a slow second season? He averaged just 6 points and 3 rebounds in just 19 minutes during the regular season, but got 33 minutes a night in the playoffs, scoring 10 points to go with 8 rebounds a night and some excellent net rating numbers (+14) during his time on the floor.
Porter is a reliable 3-point shooter who is a very good wing defender with long arms and good timing when it comes to rebounding. This postseason showed more than anything that he isn’t afraid of taking big shots. It took him time to become a contributing player on this team, but after two years of taking it slow and playing behind Ariza and Pierce, he might be ready for the full-time job.