Jeremy Hyman | WashingtonWizards.comOne year ago today Bradley Beal was the guy. He was the right fit. The right player. The right person. Last night, it was Otto Porter.
After roaming the media circuit with Beal a year ago, I was able to do the same with Porter again last night. I could copy and paste much of what I wrote about Beal last year and just insert the name Porter.
Another high-character individual whose maturity level can be noticed the first time you meet him. As the Wizards continue this identity switch, they attained another player who fits the mold of the new breed of Wizards basketball. A team-first guy with a high IQ, good morals, a family man and a genuinely good person.
His physical skills aren't too bad either. He'll bring the Wizards an athletic wing who can stretch the floor, rebound, defend, and score. Sounds like just what the Wizards were looking for.
He strolled the halls of the Barclays Center on Thursday night like he was a 10-year veteran of the league. The bright lights and swarms of media had little effect on Porter; this was just another step toward reaching his dream. His somewhat reserved personality and humble interior could be noticed as well, just as we saw with Beal a year ago.
Porter had trouble ridding himself of a smile for most of the night. After all, the native Missourian called D.C. home the last two years playing for Georgetown. He already knows the building, knows the area, knows the city. Now he just needs to put on a new jersey and officially make Washington his new town.
"It's a dream come true to get drafted and then getting a chance to play in D.C., where I played two years in college. It's truly a blessing," said Porter in his first press conference after being drafted.
"I feel like I can come in and give a lot of energy off the bat. Give them that lift they need, be that glue guy that brings the team together. And come to work hard and have a winning mentality the whole time."
The lines may sound a bit cliche, but just like Beal a year ago, sometimes you can just tell when a guy gets it. Otto is one of those guys. I was blown away last year with how mature Beal, who turned 19 on draft day, handled himself throughout the process. Last night, Porter, who just turned 20 a few weeks ago, may have matched the maturity of last year's #3 pick as he displayed amazing class throughout the evening.
With Beal turning 20 today, the Wizards now have two players who can't legally share a bottle of chardonnay, but who demonstrate a level of professionalism that should age quite nicely over the next decade in D.C.