He's scoring more than Al Horford, grabbing more rebounds than Kevin Durant, shooting the 3-pointer better than Stephen Curry and he's swiping more steals than Avery Bradley. That all makes Otto Porter Jr., the Washington Wizards' fifth-year forward, one of the most underrated and versatile players in the NBA. Fresh off of signing a four-year, $106M max contract, Porter is having the best season of his career, and proving to be worth every damn dollar. Through 17 games, he's averaging 15.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting a ridiculous 47 percent from 3-point land. Yet as smooth as this season has been, however, the offseason was as tumultuous for the lanky 6-8 forward. Despite meeting with the Wizards minutes after free agency officially began, he didn't sign with the team until nearly two weeks later -- and that was after signing an offer sheet from the Nets first. Plus, before the Pacers shipped Paul George to the Thunder, there were rumors that the Wizards and Pacers had interest in a potential sign-and-trade deal involving George and Porter. "A lot of people said he shouldn't get paid for his contract," Wizards star John Wall said after Monday's 99-88 road victory vs. the Bucks. "And all you can do is play and try to prove people wrong. I think that's the same thing he's doing that me and Bradley Beal) did when we got paid. He's having a heck of a start to this season. He's one of our X factors that gets us going." Wall is referring to the fact that he and Beal also were given max contracts (running five years, not four) before elevating themselves to the All-Star status that typically comes with that kind of payday. The Wizards have committed to their core -- all three were top-three draft picks by the team -- but not without skepticism. In the case of Porter's contract, that skepticism may not have been strictly from the outside. Not knowing where you'll be playing in a few months is not a fun feeling, especially for a young player, but the hectic offseason and the trade rumors did not phase Porter. Nor, are they providing any added motivation. "I'm self motivated," Porter told CBS Sports after his 12-point, 11-rebound, four-assist, three-steal performance in Milwaukee. "I don't need anything to motivate me. It didn't bother me at all." The Wizards are certainly glad for that, as Porter has continued his ascent. In every season of his career, he's increased his scoring, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, rebounding and steals, and that trend is continuing through the first month of this season.
Otto Porter Jr. took the money and became everything the Wizards hoped for
CBS Sports | Nov 22