Nearly all NBA draft picks have to move to a new city to play at the next level. Otto Porter Jr. may not have to change lockers.
The Washington Wizards selected Porter Jr. with the third pick in the 2013 NBA Draft Thursday night, keeping the Georgetown star local for at least the beginning of his professional career.
The 20-year-old Porter Jr. — who declared for the draft after a stellar sophomore season in which he was named unanimous Big East player of the year — was widely considered one of the best prospects available. Most draft analysts correctly predicted that he would end up with the Wizards, though some saw the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting him with the first overall pick. (They surprisingly picked UNLV forward Anthony Bennett.)
Porter Jr. is expected to start in Washington at the small forward position, filling in as the third scorer behind star point guard John Wall and promising second-year shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Porter Jr. was widely considered the safest pick at the top of an uncertain draft, thanks to his high basketball IQ, reliable jumpshot and solid-but-not-spectacular athleticism — though the man himself apparently doesn’t see it that way, comparing himself to Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant in an interview with ESPN’s Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons.
The news of Porter Jr.’s destination has been unsurprisingly well-received among Georgetown fans, who will be able to watch their favorite rookie without leaving the District of Columbia.
– Porter Jr. sported a classy gray suit and light purple to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for the draft.
– He will reportedly wear No. 35 for the Wizards, his father’s old number. He wore his mother’s No. 22 in high school and college.
– Prior to announcing Porter Jr.’s selection, NBA Commissioner David Stern paused for a brief taunt, saying “I can’t hear you” to provoke more boos from the crowd. This is the retiring commissioner’s final stint at the draft, where the crowd customarily greets him with boos and jeers.