The NBA season is finally here! Although we know the main attractions (LeBron, The Brow, KD, etc.) will remain the same, every basketball season introduces us to some new breakout stars. “Poised to Breakout” will be a series that examines what players appear to have the opportunity and potential to take the biggest jump from last season to this season.
Otto Porter Jr. — Forward, Washington Wizards
The Wizards had high expectations for Porter when they selected him No. 3 overall in 2013. Porter entered the NBA as a very raw talent, though, and it showed — he averaged just 8.6 minutes and 2.1 points in 37 games as a rookie.
Porter showed some developments in his second season, however. It was nothing flashy, but he played in 74 games this time, averaging 19.4 minutes, 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds. It was late in the season that Porter really seemed to find his groove, becoming a consistent part of the rotation.
Beginning in April, Porter played 20+ minutes in every regular season game, and then 26+ minutes in every postseason game during Washington’s run. In those 10 postseason games, it became clear that Porter was indeed going to be a piece of the Wizards’ future. He averaged 10.0 points, 8.0 boards, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals over 33.1 minutes during the 2015 playoffs.
If it wasn’t already obvious that Porter had cemented himself into the small forward role in D.C., Paul Pierce’s departure for the Clippers made it crystal clear. In 2015-16, Porter should take his opportunity and run with it.
Through four preseason games, Porter is averaging 14 points and 3.75 rebounds in just 23.5 minutes — a number we should expect to jump come regular season play. Even more impressive, Porter is doing this while shooting a scorching hot 70% from the field, including 5-of-7 from downtown.
We know all about John Wall and Bradley Beal by now, but this season it’s safe to expect another one of Washington’s former top picks to breakout in a big way. This is going to be a dangerous Big-3.2015-16 projection: 34.8 MPG, 15.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.3 BPG, 1.2 SPG.
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More players “Poised to Breakout” in ’15-16: