Otto Porter was selected by the Wizards with the third overall pick in this summer’s draft, but injuries have kept the team from seeing what he might be able to contribute during his rookie campaign.
Porter barely played in the Las Vegas Summer League, and was far from impressive in the limited time he was out there. Now that training camp has opened on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia, Porter was limited to just riding a stationary bike as he deals with a hip flexor injury.
Wizards head coach Randy Wittman obviously wants Porter back as soon as possible, but seems to be sending somewhat mixed messages to the rookie from Georgetown.
From J. Michael of CSN Washington:
The injury occurred a few weeks ago when he fell during a scrimmage.
“Today he was limited,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “He’s got a hip flexor thing that is bothering him. It’s been bothering him now for a couple weeks. He’s got to get himself going. He’s missing a lot of valuable time now here in terms of what he’s been limited to. We’ve got to be smart with him. We need to get him healthy and as soon as we can.”
Which is it, coach? Should Porter “get himself going,” or are you going to “be smart with him?” Injuries are part of the game, and a head coach should be intelligent enough not to try to put undue pressure on a first-year player to return before he’s ready.
But considering how hard the team has been hit in this department, with John Wall being limited to just 49 games last year and with Emeka Okafor and Chris Singleton already sidelined, a certain level of frustration on the injury front in Washington is somewhat understandable.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.
Joel Embiid‘s minute limit of below 20 bummed out everyone (especially Embiid).
But good news could be on the way.
Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:
The 76ers look like a borderline playoff team, Embiid’s health the biggest variable. There’s a direct correlation between his ability to stay on the court and Philadelphia’s postseason chances.
Plus, he’s just so darn fun to watch. The more he plays, the bigger victory it is for every viewer not rooting for the 76ers’ opponent that night.
John Henson was on the trade block. Greg Monroe seems permanently affixed there.
Another player the Bucks apparently want to deal? Rashad Vaughn, who was the No. 17 pick in 2015.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Milwaukee has been working to trade several players to clear salary-cap space, including guard Rashad Vaughn and center John Henson, league sources said. The Bucks have been willing to attach a second-round pick in offers for Vaughn, league sources said.
It’s unclear whether the Bucks are still as motivated to move Vaughn. They slid under the luxury-tax line by stretching Spencer Hawes. One-time target Richard Jefferson already signed with the Nuggets. A roster vacancy and cap savings might not matter as much anymore to Milwaukee.
But Vaughn has struggled in two NBA seasons. The Bucks might be better off trying to develop someone else, even a D-League player, over the 21-year-old Vaugh.
Vaughn is due $1,889,040 this season. He faces a $2,901,565 team option for next season, which his team must decide on by Oct. 31. It seems unlikely that will be exercised.
This is what happens when you draft players for the wrong reason.