Otto Porter Rumors

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Otto Porter
Otto Porter
Position: F
Born: 06/03/93
Height: 6-8 / 2.03
Weight:205 lbs. / 93 kg.
Salary: $4,662,960
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Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has exercised the fourth-year contract option on Bradley Beal and the third-year contract option on Otto Porter. “Bradley and Otto are both big pieces of the core group of players that we will build around as we continue to improve our team,” said Grunfeld. “We look forward to them playing significant roles in our success both now and in the future.”
Training camp hasn’t even started, but Paul Pierce already has laid down the law in the locker room for the 2014-15 season: Protect home court. It happened earlier Thursday, before Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter arrived at The Unseld School to promote an Oct. 20 preseason game at Baltimore Arena. “You like competitive guys that take things serious. He’s not the type of guy that has a lot of friends in the NBA. Like the old days,” said Otto Porter, a rising second-year player who’ll be Pierce’s backup at small forward and has been taken under his wing. “That’s good. That’s what our team needs. “Today I heard him say, “Hey, we got to protect home court this year. Anybody who come up here, they’re going to get beaten up.’ I was like, ‘That’s what I’m talking about.’ I hadn’t heard that in here. I’m about that. That’s how it was at Georgetown. Protect home court, always. … That’s going to change.”
Rice’s game peaked this summer alongside Porter, but when training camp opens at the end of next month they will put their summertime alliance behind them and begin competing for meaningful playing time on the wing for a team on the rise. “The minutes are there,” Porter said. “It just matters what the coach wants. So my job is to continue to work hard and everything like that so that once that opportunity comes I can take full advantage of it.”
Porter has also stuck to a weightlifting program in an effort to build up some strength on his slight frame. Teammate Marcin Gortat has encouraged Porter to join him in the weight room. “Let him tell it, I’m in it more than he is,” Porter said with a laugh. “Because I know that’s something I have to work on, it’s not going to just come over night. It has to be an everyday thing for me. I have no problem with that. I’m in there every day.”
Porter doesn’t know when or if he will get the chance to make a significant contribution for the Wizards, especially with Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster both playing well. But he is focused on making sure that he is ready whenever Coach Randy Wittman puts him on the floor. “I try to get here early, every day to get up shots, things like that. Getting some kind of conditioning in, because you never know when your card might be pulled,” Porter said. “Even though I might not be playing much right now. I still want to be in get in good enough shape where I might have to play 30 minutes, you never know. So I’ve been doing that and trying to stay afterward to get up shots.”
A month later, Porter is an occasional part of the Wizards’ rotation and Gortat is no longer a newcomer. And yet if you ask him about Porter — as ESPN 980′s Doc Walker did on Tuesday — the so-called Polish Machine will still talk about Porter being excessively skinny. “First of all, the most important thing I see, he’s a hard-working kid,” Gortat said. “This is a good sign. Second thing, he’s a smart, bright kid who doesn’t complain, doesn’t create any problems, and that’s the most important thing. He has actually bright future. Obviously he’s skilled, he can shoot the ball, but the most important thing for him right now is he has to put some weight. He got to put a few pounds. He’s really small, he’s really skinny, and when he gets out there he has to be able to push people around, fight them and be physical with them. And right now he’s not really ready for that. But like I said, he’s got plenty of time in front of him. He’s a bright player, he’s gonna have a big future in this league .”
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He was too caught up in emotion, too caught in his moment to recognize or appreciate what was going on around him. When Otto Porter Jr. made his first trek from the Wizards’ bench to scorer’s table, fans at Verizon Center stood up to applaud the NBA debut of the former Georgetown star. Porter didn’t hear the crowd or see it. “I was yelling at somebody, telling them I was coming in or something,” Porter said Friday, after contributing two rebounds and an assists in 14 minutes of the Wizards’ 109-105 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. “I was excited myself, to come out, get a couple minutes and get my feet wet a little. “I’m still emotional,” he said with a smile. “First game in the NBA. Something I’ve been working my whole life for. It’s pretty cool.”
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Otto Porter Jr. said he will “probably” be a game-time decision when the Wizards host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at Verizon Center. Porter has been sidelined since mid-September because of a strained right hip flexor and recently began practicing with the team in preparation for his long-anticipated NBA debut. “Not yet,” Porter said at the morning shoot-around, when asked if he was ready to say that he would play against Milwaukee. “I feel decent. I only had two practices. Hopefully, I can get more in soon and get more acclimated to the team and what we’re trying to do.”
Today the Wizards are off, but rest assured players will be at Verizon Center to get up shots and treatment to heal their sore muscles. While Bradley Beal and Al Harrington are still out, rookie Otto Porter is on the cusp of getting his first game action vs. the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. “Otto, we got to get on the floor, get after him and get him going and see where we are after these three days,” coach Randy Wittman said.
This doesn’t mean, however, that Porter will be playing in a game soon. It’s just the first step in the process to getting back. He’s still day-to-day and there’s no target date. “It looked like he’s been out three-and-a-half months. He’s got to get out there now and get his legs under him,” Wittman said. “Number two, getting familiar with what we’re doing. It’s easy to sit there and think as you’re watching you know what’s going on until now it’s game speed and action. He’s not very familiar yet with what we’re doing. Repetition, conditioning. The last thing you what to do is throw him out there not in good enough condition and he gets hurt again. Those are the kind of things you want to stay away from. You get him healthy, get him in shape, see what happens.”
The injury bug to the Wizards’ forwards leads to the obvious question about the status of Otto Porter, the No. 3 overall draft pick in June, who has yet make an impact. There’s nothing new, of course, as he has yet to practice for more than two months. Coach Randy Wittman believes when he does return from his right hip flexor strain that it’ll be around the same time Chris Singleton gets back in the mix from left foot/toe surgery.
The Wizards visited the Walter Reed center in Bethesda last month and will continue to assist members of TAPS, a non-profit organization that assists family members grieving the loss of a loved one who died in military service. Beginning with Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, the team will sell hats with the word, “Courage,” written in Wizards lettering, for $25 at the team store at Verizon Center. Courage hats autographed by Beal, Wall, Nene or Webster will go for $50, while those signed by Marcin Gortat, Al Harrington, Otto Porter or Kevin Seraphin will go for $40. All of the proceeds with go toward TAPS. “It takes a lot to muster that up especially after losing so much physically,” Webster said. “For them to come out here and be happy the way they are, it changes your whole perspective on life. It makes you appreciate the things that you have. The problems we have as basketball players doesn’t even compare to what they’ve been through for our country let alone what they put themselves through.”
Yesterday, Jordan Brand made official their signings of Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter Jr. and Cody Zeller – the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th picks of the 2013 NBA Draft, who were choosen by the Magic, Wizards and Bobcats. “We are excited to add Victor, Otto and Cody to the Jordan family,” said Michael Jordan. “As we continue to expand and improve our performance product, these young players will be a big part of our efforts around the game of basketball.”
Porter has been sidelined with a right hip flexor since Sept. 14 and doesn’t have a timetable for his return. He recently said that his hip “still hurts.” Monroe said he’s confident that Porter will be able to find his way whenever he makes his debut. “I talked to him before training camp to make sure he’s good,” Monroe said. “He’s fine. I’m always [at Georgetown] in the summer and he’s been there. He’s a very intelligent kid, very mature. He doesn’t have much to worry about off the court.”
Porter is the fourth first-round pick to play for John Thompson III at Georgetown. Monroe, Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green have all gone on to have productive NBA careers, with Hibbert making an all-star team. Monroe believes Porter will keep the tradition going. “It’s an adjustment,” Monroe said. “Right now he’s at the top two toughest positions to play at in this league. He definitely has to get stronger. He’s fine. He’s going to learn. His work ethic is through the roof. I know he’ll grow up real fast.”
Porter shot three-pointers with his teammates after practice Saturday but continues to be limited with a strained right hip flexor. The Wizards originally listed Porter as day-to-day but Coach Randy Wittman said he hasn’t been able to play since suffering the injury on Sept. 14. There is now no timetable for his return but Porter is hoping for some good news with his doctor visit. “Just to make sure nothing is out of whack,” Porter said. “It still hurts. I’ve got to heal. It’s not healed yet. That’s the only thing keeping me from getting out there on the court. I just got to rest and take time to heal.”