With rumors that the Washington Wizards are ready to clean house following a disappointing start to the season, the New Orleans Pelicans are interested in two-way forward, Otto Porter Jr.
After a win against the San Antonio Spurs Monday night, the New Orleans Pelicans have been pretty solid at the start of the season. Anthony Davis is playing at an MVP level and has received plenty of help from his supporting cast.
However, despite winning six of their last seven games, there is always room for improvement for the 10-7 Pelicans in the rough Western Conference. With the Jimmy Butler saga over in Minnesota and the Cavaliers not yet ready to part ways with Kevin Love, there are not many moves that may seem pleasing to the eye of the Pelicans.
Yet, with the latest news coming out of the nation’s capital, the Pelicans may have found a target to go after in the near future.
After a report from ESPN that the Washington Wizards are ready to clean house following a disappointing start to the season, the Pelicans have expressed interest to acquire two-way forward Otto Porter Jr., according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
“There are whispers that New Orleans is interested in Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr., who is in the second year of an enormous four-year, $106.5 million contract. Porter’s role has dwindled in Washington; he’s averaging only 28 minutes and has lately watched fourth from the bench as Jeff Green and Kelly Oubre Jr. have finished games. Porter is overpaid, but he’s proven to be an effective two-way player. He could thrive in Alvin Gentry’s up-tempo offense and add another versatile defender at forward for the Pelicans.
At first glance, the acquisition of Porter may not be the dream scenario in the Big Easy, but his on-court production is needed for the Pelicans.
Through the first 17 games of the season, New Orleans currently ranks 15th in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (35.4%). Outside of E’Twaun Moore and Nikola Mirotic, the Pelicans do not have a decent player who can hit shots from the outside on a consistent basis. And Porter would be able to bring some firepower from the outside.
Despite some regression so far this season, Porter has established himself as one of the best 3-point shooters in the league. While averaging 14.7 points per games, the 25-year-old forward from Georgetown University shot a career-best 44.1 percent from behind the arc. Which as good enough to rank third in the NBA last season.
With his ability to knock down shots from the outside, Porter has the ability to create extra floor spacing within the Pelicans’ offense. And with a player of Davis’ caliber, surrounding the big fella with several 3-point shooters will make New Orleans a serious contender out west.
Surrounding a dominant big man with multiple sharpshooters was the blueprint to the Houston Rockets‘ championship titles with Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994 and 1995. As well as the master plan that helped the Orlando Magic reach the 2009 NBA Finals with Dwight Howard.
Not only will he bring some valuable scoring from the outside, but Porter has also evolved into a respectable defender over the years. At 6’8, Porter’s long frame has made it difficult for his opponents to score from behind the arc. According to NBA.com Player Tracker, when guarding his defensive assignments, Porter held his opponents’ 3-point field goal percentage to 38.5 percent last season.
Unfortunately for New Orleans, Porter’s current contract will make it tricky to trade. He is under contract through the 2020-21 season, though he has a player option for the final year of his deal worth just over $28 million.
Otto Porter Jr will be a tremendous upgrade for the Pelicans and will help New Orleans become a dark horse for an NBA title. However, if the Pelicans does succeed to acquire Porter, the next question becomes, is it enough to keep Anthony Davis in New Orleans past the 2019-2020 season?
Through the first 15 games of the season, Porter is averaging 10.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals for the Wizards.
To stay up to date on all things Pelicans and more, be sure to subscribe to You Can Argue That Sports and receive notifications of new posts and podcasts by email.