After a breakout year for the Washington Wizards last season, Otto Porter Jr. was rewarded with a max contract in the summer.
The small forward penned a four-year, $106 million contract to remain in the nation's capital and is, for the time being, the highest-paid player on the roster - until John Wall's huge extension kicks in.
The Wizards are hoping that this big outlay and show of faith will result in Porter developing into a star player. The early signs this season certainly look good.
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With Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington has one of the best backcourts in the NBA but with the emergence of Porter, they could make a case for now having a legitimate big three.
His improvement over the last 12 months has been impressive and he's now developed himself into a strong two-way player in the league.
Last season, he averaged career-highs in multiple categories as he put up 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game on an incredible 51.6 percent shooting and 43.4 percent from three-point range.
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In 15 games so far in this campaign, his numbers have continued to rise as he's posting a career-best 16.8 ppg, 1.8 apg and seven rpg whilst shooting an outstanding 57.3 percent and 48.1 percent from downtown.
He was strangely overlooked for the Most Improved Player award last year but if he continues at this rate throughout the season, he will definitely deserve to be a leading candidate this time around.
Wall and Beal may dominate the ball and generate all the attention but without the production of Porter, the Wizards wouldn't be among the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
He is the team's x-factor and makes a huge difference with his multiple skill set. The 24-year-old has expanded from being just a three-and-D wing player and has added more to his game.
But he plays his role perfectly on this team. He knows his limitations and exactly what he can bring to the table.
He's content with being an elite role player for the Wizards and alongside their talented guard combo, that's exactly what they need to be successful.
There are some who questioned the huge contract dished out to Porter, but he's already proving that he will be a sound investment in this current market.
Prior to a recent encounter with Washington, LeBron James weighed in on the topic and said he's earned the money coming his way.
"He's worked on his game extremely well and he's earned the big paycheck that he got," James said.
The former number three overall pick had arguably the best game of his career in a loss to the Golden State Warriors recently and really announced himself.
Despite the loss, Porter stepped up big after Beal was ejected following a skirmish with Draymond Green and dropped 29 points with seven three-pointers.
“For him to come out and be aggressive and compete against one of the best players in the league, he didn’t back down,” Wall said about his performance in Oakland. “You could tell he improved his game and he kept us in the game a lot and made some big plays for us.”
The message from the organisation to the forward has been simple; we don't expect you to live up to the big contract, just continue to play your game and make an impact.
“I never talk about the players’ contracts,” head coach Scott Brooks said. “Everybody gets paid very handsomely. No matter what they just got to go out there and play and keep playing for their team and improving year by year.”
That is exactly what the St. Louis native has done and his rise has been a huge boost for the team.
He will continue to have a huge role to play for the remainder of the campaign and the years to come in D.C and may ultimately prove to be a bargain with his deal.