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Offensive freedom allows Otto Porter to break out


Offensive freedom allows Otto Porter to break out

Otto Porter didn't exactly pick up where he left off. When he last appeared in a game for the Wizards, he'd shot a compiled 7-for-26 in three consecutive losses to the Atlanta Hawks which led to playoff elimination. Tuesday, he looked like the No. 3 overall selection in the NBA draft. 

The projected starting small forward coming into the season and one of the Wizards' better performers in training camp, Porter made 8 of 10 shots, including all four of his three-pointers, for a game-high 22 points in a 129-95 preseason opening win vs. the Philadelphia 76ers. And he did it in just 24 minutes of play. 

"It was just John (Wall) finding me. Being in great position where I can catch and shoot, knockdowns, cut to the basket or whatever," Porter said. "I have the freedom to do that now. It feels good.

"We got a lot of playmakers on the team. With the new offense, running out in transition it opens up the floor. It gives you enough time if the defense is closing out you can shoot it or drive by them. You just got a lot of options now, just flowing and moving the ball."

The Wizards are playing more in flow, bypassing play calls and running a glut of pick-and-rolls and drive-kick plays. It's pressure offense that puts the defense on its heels and makes the Wizards less predictable. They have the pieces to run it, though Kelly Oubre, Jared Dudley and Alan Anderson sat out with injuries.

"Otto had, start to finish, as good as a game you can play," coach Randy Wittman said of the third-year player who is expected to fill the void left by Paul Pierce's departure. "Activity, hands on balls, forget about the shots he made. Being in position, his knack for being in the right place at the right time whether it's offensively or defensively, his reads and cuts to the basket."


Marcin Gortat was out of sync. He has to find a way to fit in the new offense, but Porter's performance blew him away.

"He looked good," Gortat said. "There's no pressure. We play freely and try to use our chances and he was outstanding today. He was aggressive. He was attacking. He was having fun cutting, shooting the ball well."

Garrett Temple had seven points, nine rebounds and seven assists. This style of offense suits him, too. 

"You just push the ball and wherever you end up make sure you get to the right spots and just play from there, whether it's a pick-and-roll or attack into a drive-and-kick game. I think we did a good job of executing especially that being our first game."

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2018 NBA Draft: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

2018 NBA Draft: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The 2018 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday night as the newest wave of potential superstars like DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Mo Bamba and Luka Doncic enter the league. Here is everything you need to know for the big night...


When: 7 p.m.
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: ESPN

Wizards draft picks: 15th overall in the first round, 44th overall in the second round

First round order:

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
9. New York Knicks
10. Philadelphia 76ers
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Los Angeles Clippers
13. Los Angeles Clippers
14. Denver Nuggets
15. Washington Wizards
16. Phoenix Suns
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. San Antonio Spurs
19. Atlanta Hawks
20. Minnesota Timberwolves
21. Utah Jazz
22. Chicago Bulls
23. Indiana Pacers
24.Portland Trail Blazers
25. Los Angeles Lakers
26. Philadelphia 76ers
27. Boston Celtics
28. Golden State Warriors
29. Brooklyn Nets
30. Atlanta Hawks

Top prospects:

1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
2. Marvin Bagley III, Duke
3. Luka Doncic, Slovenia
4. Jaren Jackson, Jr., Michigan State
5. Mo Bamba, Texas
6. Michael Porter, Jr., Missouri
7. Wendell Carter, Duke
8. Trae Young, Oklahoma
9. Collin Sexton, Alabama
10. Kevin Knox, Kentucky

Three things to watch...

Will Leonard get traded?

Last year's draft featured some big trades including Jimmy Butler going to the Timberwolves. This year, there seems to be at least a decent chance it happens with Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs. He wants a trade and they have been meeting with him in recent days, perhaps for a last-ditch pitch to remain with the team. If he gets dealt on draft night, it wouldn't be a huge surprise.

Who will the Kings pick?

A consensus has built for Ayton to go No. 1 to the Suns. After that, it's a major crapshoot and whomever the Kings select will produce a domino effect from there on down. Will they take Bagley, the safe pick, or go a riskier route with Doncic or maybe even Porter, Jr.? The best bet at this point appears to be Bagley, but nobody truly knows.

Where will Young and Porter, Jr. go?

The two most interesting prospects in this draft are Young and Porter, Jr. Young was a sensation in college basketball, but is undersized and appears to be boom-or-bust. He could flame out quickly at the next level or be some iteration of the next Stephen Curry. Porter, Jr. played only three games in college due to a back injury and now has hip issues as well. His talent is undeniable, but his injury history represents significant risk.


2018 NBA Draft Preview Series

Wizards Draft Profiles

-- Keita Bates Diop, SG/SF, Ohio State 

-- Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State (VIDEO)

-- Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

-- Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova 

-- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Kentucky (VIDEO)

-- Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA (VIDEO)

-- Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Maryland (VIDEO)

-- Chandler Hutchinson, SG/SF, Boise State 

-- Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky (VIDEO)

-- Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College (VIDEO)

-- Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky (VIDEO)

-- Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State (VIDEO)

-- Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IGM Academy (Fl.) (VIDEO)

-- Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech (VIDEO)

-- Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton (VIDEO)

-- Gary Trent Jr., SG/SF, Duke (VIDEO)

-- Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan (VIDEO)

-- Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami (VIDEO)

-- Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M (VIDEO)

NBA Player Comparisons

-- Miles Bridges, Draymond Green?

-- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dejounte Murray?

-- Zhaire Smith, J.R. Smith or Gerald Green?

-- Robert Williams, Kenyon Martin?


For more on the NBA Draft, check out our preview special episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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2018 NBA Draft: A list of Green Room attendees

USA Today Sports

2018 NBA Draft: A list of Green Room attendees

The NBA officially announced a list of 20 players invited to the Green Room at the 2018 NBA Draft. Provided that all attend, here's a list of who'll be there.

  • Miles Bridges, Michigan State
  • Mikal Bridges, Villanova
  • Marvin Bagley III, Duke
  • Mohamed Bamba, Texas
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama
  • Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
  • Lonnie Walker IV, Miami
  • Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
  • Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech
  • Aaron Holiday, UCLA
  • Deandre Ayton, Arizona
  • Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
  • Luka Doncic, Slovenia
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
  • Kevin Knox, Kentucky
  • Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
  • Robert Williams, Texas A&M
  • Trae Young, Oklahoma
  • Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
  • Jerome Robinson, Boston College

There are two players each invited from Villanova, Michigan State, Duke and Kentucky.

The 2018 NBA Draft will be Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be broadcast on ESPN and streamed live on WatchESPN. The Wizards have Nos. 15 and 44 picks.