Mar 5, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards small forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) dribbles the ball as Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) defends during the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Will Washington Wizards' Otto Porter have a bounce-back season?

The Washington Wizards made Otto Porter the number three overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. With their other four starting positions already spoken for in center Marcin Gortat, power forward Nene, shooting guard Bradley Beal and point guard John Wall, the pick was widely praised. Porter, however had a very poor rookie season and had trouble just getting onto the court.

John Zitzler of Basketball Insiders believes Porter needs a bounce-back year to help secure his long-term future in Washington.

The Wizards went out and signed veteran Paul Pierce to fill the void left by Ariza. Porter, like Bennett, looked much better playing in the Las Vegas Summer League than he did during his first NBA season. Of course, that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the disparity in talent in the Summer League compared to an average NBA roster. But nonetheless it’s still a positive sign. However, he wasn’t the only Wizards player to excel in Summer League. Glen Rice Jr. played outstanding, and it now appears that Rice and Porter will be locked up in a battle for minutes at the back-up three spot this upcoming season. The future at small forward for the Wizards is still very much up in the air. Pierce is 37 years old and signed to just a two-year deal, so a bounce back year from Porter would go a long way in restoring the Wizards’ faith in him as the best long-term option for the future.

Porter is clearly talented and fell behind with the Wizards because of a hip injury that kept him from making his NBA debut until December. As Zitzler points out, Porter looked like a different player int he Las Vegas Pro Summer League. Porter averaged just 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game. He appeared in 37 games, shooting 36.3% from the field, 19.0% from beyond the arc and 66.7% from the free throw line.

Be sure to check FanSided’s official NBA page to keep up to date on the latest news and rumors from around the league all summer long.

Tags: Otto Porter Washington Wizards

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