TOWSON, Md. -- Ideally, Otto Porter earns the starting job at small forward for the Wizards, who'll pick up their fourth day of training camp Friday at Verizon Center. How well he played at times in last season's playoffs doesn't mean much. It's about how he performs now.
There's a healthy competition at his position, with rookie Kelly Oubre and veterans such as Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson and Martell Webster competing for time. Dudley (back) and Anderson (left ankle) didn't participate in any practices during the first three days at Towson University's SECU Arena.
"It's not that much different. They want me to continue to do what I do," Porter said of how he's acclimating to coach Randy Wittman's new faster-paced offense. "Knock down corner threes, bring the ball up, rebound."
Porter and Webster have gotten in their share of reps playing the stretch four position in practices, but a lot of that has to do with the Wizards being short-handed. It seems unlikely that Porter, who will be entering his third season and with his slight build, could be used at power forward for any prolonged period of time. Webster has actual real-time experience playing at power forward.
Each season in the NBA, Porter's confidence is noticeably better and evident simply in how he fields questions. He averaged just 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 74 regular-season appearances with that production jumping to 10.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in 10 playoff games.
Still, Porter shot just 7-for-26 in the last three games -- all losses -- in the East semifinals vs. the Atlanta Hawks when the Wizards were eliminated. He still has work to do.
The super-confident Oubre, acquired in a draft-night trade with the Hawks, isn't going to concede the starting role because he's just 19. He's going to push Porter to fill that void left by Paul Pierce's departure.
"He's always asking question just like I did when I first came in. I was always asking questions to Trevor (Ariza) and Martell," Porter said. "We're teammates. We're in it to win and also competing against each other. I give him some pointers but he's going to have to pick up stuff on his own."
If Porter finds himself coming off the bench for the third season in a row, that won't bother him. The job remains his to lose though Wittman won't say it.
"It would not phase me one bit," Porter said of being a reserve again. "I got to continue to work for it. I don’t want anything handed to me."