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Otto Porter on hanging out with J. Cole this summer, wanting to be a more vocal leader for Wizards

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Otto Porter on hanging out with J. Cole this summer, wanting to be a more vocal leader for Wizards

Otto Porter is by nature a quiet guy, someone who likes to lead by example. His personality runs parallel to his basketball game. He sets his ego aside, playing off of John Wall and Bradley Beal as a complementary piece willing to do whatever little things it takes on a given night to help the Wizards win.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks loves Porter's game, but wants to see the 24-year-old come out of his shell a bit. After establishing himself as a legitimate No. 3 option and one of the best three-point shooters in basketball, Brooks hopes Porter can take on a larger leadership role.

"Coach came to me and said he wants me to be a lot more vocal," Porter said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast. "Defensively… and just all-around, I have to make sure I have a great presence on and off the court. That has started with training camp."

Porter feels he can follow those instructions from Brooks, despite the fact he is used to being reserved and introverted.

"I can be. I've always been kind of quiet and not vocal. Things are starting to change," he said.

Porter is used to expressing himself on the basketball court. Off the court he is passionate about music and cars. Porter said during the summer he often travels to Memphis from his home in Missouri to listen to soul and jazz music. Porter has been playing drums since he was a kid and recently was gifted a custom bass guitar from his uncle, who is a skilled carpenter. He hopes to emulate the style of B.B. King as he learns the instrument.

"I've got a good ear for things," he said.

This summer he was able to hang out with the rapper J. Cole, who often addresses social issues in his lyrics. The two didn't just talk music.

"We have a lot of good mutual friends. I was able to meet up with J. Cole. That's my favorite artist, by the way. It was amazing to get the chance to meet him and talk to him a little bit about life and what's going on in America. He's very smart and intelligent," Porter said.

For more on Porter's summer hanging with celebrities, working on his three-pointer and refurbishing old cars, check out the Wizards Tipoff podcast:


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Wizards pick up Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s contract option with bright future ahead

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Wizards pick up Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s contract option with bright future ahead

The play of Kelly Oubre, Jr. over the past calendar year had made the Wizards picking up his contract option an increasingly easy decision. On Saturday, they opted to keep him for the fourth year of his rookie contract, the 2018-19 season, and did so with a week to spare before the deadline.

Oubre, 21, has emerged as a key contributor for a Wizards team with expectations of a deep playoff run. He is still finding his trule role in the NBA, but with his youth and potential, and the fact he's still on a rookie deal, Oubre has a unique place on their roster.

John Wall and Bradley Beal have already emerged as stars. Otto Porter still has room to get much better, but has already arrived and earned a max contract. Oubre, though already established in their rotation, has plenty of room to grow.

Oubre, the 15th overall pick in 2015, doubled his minutes last season to 20.3 per game under head coach Scott Brooks with averages of 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game. He earned Brooks' trust mainly on the defensive end with his versatility and high motor.

Consistency is where Oubre needs to improve, but through two games this season he appears to have taken another step. Oubre added two inches to his vertical leap over the summer despite rehabbing from platelet-rich plasma treatment on his right knee. He also gained some muscle, allowing him to make strides as a rebounder. Oubre has 15 rebounds through two games and said it's specific focus of his.


The Wizards are a good enough offensive team currently to where Oubre can focus on defense and rebounding. But his growing confidence on offense has been evident so far this year and especially in the preseason. He has worked on dribbling with his right hand and the result is more aggression attacking the rim. Though still not a polished product, Oubre is taking small steps to emerge as a more dangerous scoring threat.

The Wizards will have another decision to make on Oubre this time next year. One day before the 2018-19 regular season begins, they will have to choose whether to hand Oubre a rookie scale contract extension. They weren't able to beat that deadline with Porter and the next summer he received a $106.5 million max deal after hitting the market as a restricted free agent. 

Oubre at this very moment wouldn't command that type of money in free agency, but the same was said about Porter at this point in his career. Porter was able to improve significantly in his fourth season.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis said this summer that he would love to have Oubre force the issue with his performance on the court.

"He's going to come back and work really, really hard and challenge us to pay him a lot of money, too, which I'm glad to do," Leonsis said. 

It's early in the season, but Oubre may be on his way towards making the Wizards ponder his long-term future.

The Washington Post first reported Oubre's contract option getting picked up.



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John Wall doesn't hold LaVar Ball's talking against Lonzo, but knows 'he'll be targeted'

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John Wall doesn't hold LaVar Ball's talking against Lonzo, but knows 'he'll be targeted'

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley made a point to embarrass Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball in the latter's NBA debut. After dominating him on the court, Beverley said he had to "set the tone." 

On Wednesday, Wizards point guard John Wall will get a crack at Ball when Washington plays the Lakers at the Staples Center. Wall knows why Beverley went after Ball like that, but says he doesn't blame Ball himself.

"I think his dad put him in a situation where guys are going to target him," Wall said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast, referencing LaVar Ball. "Lonzo is one of those kids that is very talented. He's been a good player for years, he just don't say much. I think his dad does all the talking for him."

Ball, 19, was the second overall pick in this June's NBA Draft. He had just three points on 1-of-6 shooting against the Clippers on Wednesday, but bounced back for 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists against the Suns on Friday. 

Wall thinks Ball will be fine as long as he can keep up his production on the court to back up his dad's trash-talking.

"He's a great kid from what I've seen on the outside looking in," Wall said. "A lot of people in this league are going to take it personally. It's not the son's fault. He went back and had a better game [vs. the Suns]. That's all he's gotta do is go out there and play. He's not gonna do any talking anyways. If he gets killed or don't get killed or kills somebody, he's not going to be the guy talking."

Wall is as competitive as they come and will give Ball a tough challenge on Wednesday night, but it doesn't sound like he plans to pull a Beverley and overtly embarrass him.

Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: