Small forward Otto Porter Jr. turned a career year into a massive contract this summer. His four-year, $106.5 million max deal makes him the highest-paid player on the team until 2019--20, when John Wall's extension kicks in. One small issue: 77.3% of the field goals Porter made were assisted last season, a high number that calls into question his value without Wall, who was second in the league in assists per game.
No one is expecting Porter to turn into an isolation sensation overnight. But as long as the Wizards have a pitiful bench—and they still do—they'll need to rely on their starting five more than any other team in the league. And the one player in that first unit with substantial room to improve is Porter, an efficient player and a dangerous catch-and-shoot scorer who was fifth in the league in three-point percentage. (He's also a solid defender.) If Porter doesn't raise his game by becoming a threat with the ball in his hands, Washington's offense may have already reached its ceiling.
The Wizards are paying Porter like a franchise cornerstone. They need him to develop all the tools to be one.
COACH SCOTT BROOKS
(2nd season with Wizards)
2016--17 RECORD 49--33
(1st in Southeast)
13 [THE CROSSOVER TOP 100 RANKING]
PG JOHN WALL
23.1 PPG; 10.7 APG; 45.1 FG%; 32.7 3FG%
32 [THE CROSSOVER TOP 100 RANKING]
SG BRADLEY BEAL
23.1 PPG; 3.5 APG; 48.2 FG%; 40.4 3FG%
53 [THE CROSSOVER TOP 100 RANKING]
SF OTTO PORTER JR.
13.4 PPG; 6.4 RPG; 51.6 FG%; 43.4 3FG%
79 [THE CROSSOVER TOP 100 RANKING]
PF MARKIEFF MORRIS
14.0 PPG; 6.5 RPG; 45.7 FG%; 36.2 3FG%
66 [THE CROSSOVER TOP 100 RANKING]
C MARCIN GORTAT
10.8 PPG; 10.4 RPG; 1.5 APG; 57.9 FG%
SG JODIE MEEKS [NEW ACQUISITION]
9.1 PPG; 2.1 RPG; 40.2 FG%; 40.9 3FG%
SF KELLY OUBRE JR.
6.3 PPG; 3.3 RPG; 42.1 FG%; 28.7 3FG%
C IAN MAHINMI
5.6 PPG; 4.8 RPG; 1.1 SPG; 58.6 FG%
• THE CROSSOVER TOP 100 RANKING
A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP WASHINGTON
When guys play one year of college, you want them to get from Point A to Point E quickly, but they do stop at B, C, and D along the way. It took JOHN WALL a while, but I do think he's figured out how to blend distribution with scoring. He understands how to put a team on his back and when to defer to his very talented backcourt mate in BRADLEY BEAL. He's maturing very well.... Beal has always played the game with such composure. He has a good, solid build and he doesn't waste energy, even while playing both ends of the floor. And he's unselfish. Beal is a pretty complete player for a guy who doesn't have otherworldly athletic superiority.... What's the window of opportunity with MARCIN GORTAT? He could be getting to the point where his game is on its way down. Still, he's their best starting option. Gortat's got consistency and fluidity. IAN MAHINMI, by contrast, has never been a comfortable scorer at all.... I can't see OTTO PORTER JR. ever being a No. 1 or No. 2 option, but at least he plays both ends of the floor. He's never going to score 20 a game, but maybe they don't need that from him.... They have a bunch of players who have gotten better every year: Beal, Wall, Porter. Maybe KELLY OUBRE JR. is ready to take that next step too. His value is more on the defensive end right now. To his credit, he's discovered that he doesn't have to be an elite scorer to impact the game.... TOMAS SATORANSKY defies positioning. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and say that he's simply a basketball player. That's why I like him so much as a prospect.
TELLING 77.3 STATISTIC
A roster that looks just like last year's is destined for the same result: a second-round postseason departure.