We won’t have to wait much longer for Otto Porter to debut in a Washington Wizards uniform, as the Wizards tip off their summer league run against the Golden State Warriors this afternoon at 4:00 PM.
Even though summer league games are essentially glorified pick-up games, they certainly have the potential to give us a little bit of insight into some promising prospects. Of course, since Porter will be the highest draft pick participating in the Las Vegas summer league, all eyes will be on the Georgetown alumni as he’ll make his unofficial NBA debut.
Here are just a few things to look out for:
- Let’s stick to the Otto Porter narrative for now. Pundits will inevitably look at the stat sheet to judge high draft picks, but for this afternoon’s game, we’ll have to observe the little things Porter does to help his team succeed. Summer league is usually a place where players with scorers mentalities are showcased, especially since the entire platform is a bit unorganized. The respective teams don’t have a sufficient amount of time to organize their rosters, which could create a brand of disorganized basketball. Porter probably won’t be the standout athlete we’re used to seeing in summer league, but he’ll do the things that won’t show up on the stat sheet to help the Wizards rise to victory. How well will Otto Porter adjust to the NBA speed? Will he push the tempo as Randy Wittman and the rest of the coaching staff have asked him to do? Will he be able to effectively use his length on both sides of the floor against an athlete like Kent Bazemore, who was called the “top defender in college basketball?” Instead of focusing on how many points Porter scorers, lets turn our attention to how well he adjusts to the next level.
- The time has come for Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely to separate themselves from the rest of the group. We’re used to both Vesely and Singleton taking on the role of student during the regular season, but their roles will be reversed during the summer league, since both of them already have two NBA seasons under their belts. They’ll likely be matched up against Draymond Green, who will be the focal point on Golden State’s summer league roster. Singleton has looked good during summer league in the past, mostly due to his physical attributes, but we need to see Vesely step up his game. At this point, he should know what to expect. His lack of aggressiveness was probably his Achilles heel in the past, and we need to see that change. Summer league is a perfect place to start.
- As I mentioned previously, summer league is usually a place for scorers to showcase their talents. Glen Rice Jr. has all the tools to stand out, especially since he’s known for putting the ball in the basket. Rice dominated in the NBA Developmental League last season, and we’ll likely see lots of D-League caliber talent tomorrow afternoon. He’s in a unique situation for a rookie, since he knows what to expect and how to deal with certain scenarios he’ll encounter during the summer league.
- Sundiata Gaines will be matched up against Nemanja Nedovic, who the Warriors selected in the first round of this years NBA Draft. Washington could use a scoring guard, and if anyone could spark some interest during the summer league, it’s probably Gaines. Gaines has had multiple stints in the NBA and he knows what it takes to make an NBA roster. Nedovic was billed as a poor-man’s Derrick Rose, so we’ll see how his athleticism stacks up against Gaines’ veteran prowess.
I haven’t taken a great look at the Warriors’ summer league roster, but all signs point to the Wizards having a more experienced group of guys on their club. It probably isn’t worth bragging about, but the Wizards have a pretty talented summer league roster with Porter, Rice, Vesely and Singleton.
If they play coherent basketball, the Wizards should be able to pull off the win.
Topics: Draymond Green, Glen Rice Jr., Golden State Warriors, Jan Vesely, Nba Previews, Nba Summer League, Nba Summer League 2013, Nemanja Nedovic, Otto Porter, Otto Porter Jr., Sundiata Gaines, Washington Wizards