Otto Porter Jr.: Top Free Agent Target For the Brooklyn Nets 1
May 4, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) shoots the ball against the Boston Celtics in the third quarter in game three of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 116-89. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Meet Otto Porter Jr., very likely a top free agent target for the Brooklyn Nets during the Summer of 2017.

Among the many free agent options available, the Brooklyn Nets are reportedly holding Otto Porter Jr. at the top of the list. Is he on track to earn a max contract this summer?

Originally drafted third overall by the Washington Wizards, the young small forward had a rough start adjusting to the big league. In his rookie season, Otto didn’t earn one shot at the starting five, and averaged just (2.1) points and shooting (19%) from behind-the-arc.

Despite all this, if you were given only one word to describe Porter’s career in this league thus far, it would be “improvement.” Consistent improvement at that. Since his rookie season, he has improved every season in the following stats: field goal percentage, three-point percentage, rebounds, steals and points per game.

This constant incline into the higher ranks of the NBA is exactly why he’ll be so desired come June.

Recently, Porter has broken out as one of the best three-point shooters across the league. This season, he secured his chances at earning big figures, aiding the Wizards into a playoff berth and a first conference win over the Atlanta Hawks. Though they were eliminated in the second round by the Boston Celtics, Porter proved a reliable scoring option and defender. Through the post-season, he averaged (12.2) points on (53%) shooting from the field.

On the regular season, his (43%) percentage from behind-the-arc ranked third in the league, on a minimum of (300) three-point attempts. Porter also ranked high at fifth in field goal percentage, shooting (61%) on the season.

Among the 2013 draft class, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dennis Schroeder, C.J. McCollum and Rudy Gobert, have all signed lucrative deals, leaving Porter next in line. His rookie contract is up following this season, and there will be more than one team ready to offer the max.

Mar 25, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

This young and upcoming star may be just what the Nets need to add this summer.

At 6″8 and nearly 200 lbs, Porter’s overall size and wingspan make him a defensive force to reckon with, especially on the perimeter. His defensive aptitude will come in handy for Eastern Conference matchups, featuring Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Jimmy Butler.

The Brooklyn Nets need a starting small forward more than anything this year, especially one who can connect on the three ball. In addition, with the 29th ranked payroll across the league, they will certainly be in place to offer him the max. The Washington Wizards are caught up in the salary cap, sitting already millions over. Brooklyn failed to sign Tyler Johnson, Allen Crabbe, and Donatas Motiejunas when their respective teams matched the offer sheet. The Washington Wizards however, may not look to invest in a lineup mold that couldn’t take them past the Boston Celtics and shed the more movable piece in Porter.

In comparison to other free agent prospects, Otto Porter holds the highest chance of not only signing with, but furthering Brooklyn as a team.

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