Sixth Pick Tournament Round One: Otto Porter, Jr. vs. Dennis Schroeder

Published: June 2, 2013

In another Round One matchup, Georgetown small forward Otto Porter, Jr. squares off against German point guard Dennis Schroeder.

The Case for Otto Porter (McNamara)

Darius Miller.

That is how the depth chart currently reads at the small forward position for the New Orleans Pelicans. Al-Farouq Aminu’s option wasn’t picked up and Xavier Henry is finally off of our books, so the Pelicans go into the offseason with no short term or long term answers at the position that the two best players in the NBA play. I would never advocate picking for need in the NBA Draft, but when the best player on the board just so happens to play your greatest position of need, that is every GM’s dream scenario. If Porter slips by Washington at three and Phoenix at five, Dell Demps will be staring dead on at his dream scenario and should not hesitate for a second to select Porter.

Otto Porter had a breakout sophomore season this year at Georgetown after simply dominating the summer league circuit last July. He played better than expected in his freshman season, but wasn’t satisfied and said the following about his focus that summer, “Everything that was a weakness, I tried working on.” (Full Article here, a great read) Even with high expectations after his freshman year, he exceeded every single one of them by being named a Consensus First Team All-American after stuffing the stat sheet all year and leading a very weak Hoyas squad to a 2nd seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Porter was good or excellent in every single category. Literally, every category. 9th in the Big East in points (16.2), 3rd in efective field goal percentage (.541), 3rd in offensive win shares (4.2), 4th in defensive win shares (3.1) , 2nd in total win shares (7.2). He led the Big East in field goal percentage amongst eligible players (48%), was 9th in free throws made (122), 5th in rebounds per game (7.5), 6th in steals per game (1.8), 4th in offensive rating (122.3), and 3rd in defensive rating (85.0). 7th in the Big East in turnover percentage (10.0), 2nd among wing players in blocks (0.9), and 3rd in PER (27.3).

That is a long way of saying he can do it all. But he can, and it’s not a “capable of all, but master of none” type of scenario like we have seen in the past (looking at you Julian Wright). He is an excellent defensive player who is capable of making high impact plays without fouling or  taking chances that hurt his team. He is also a terrific defensive rebounder. Remember, Georgetown plays at one of the slowest paces in the NCAA, but when you look at his pace adjusted numbers, he is the top rebounding small forward in this class with a career average of 9.2 per 40 minutes pace adjusted. He also was very good offensively in the low post, shooting over 48% on the block this year. When teams cover him one-on-one down there, he scores or gets to the line, and when they double, he is able to hit the open man with regularity.

While there are countless tangibles that showcase Porter’s impact on the court, the intangibles he brings might actually be his strongest selling point. His basketball IQ is off the charts, as evidenced by the fact that his assist to turnover ratio was 2nd amongst small forwards in this draft class. He played in a very sophisticated offense at Georgetown that stressed patience and off ball movement and Porter thrived both as a playmaker and as a scorer. He read what defenses were trying to do against him and took what they gave him, rather than forcing the issue. Evidence of this can be seen in Georgetown’s two meetings with Syracuse late in the regular season. In the first game, Syracuse played him straight up and Porter scored 33 points on 19 shots. Two weeks later the teams met again and Syracuse doubled him every time he touched the ball, so Porter took just 7 shots. Instead of scoring, he patiently set up the offense and had a season high 7 assists and probably another dozen hockey assists.

Critics of Porter label him a high end role player, as if this is some kind of an insult. I am not going to argue that he has the potential to be the next Lebron or Durant, but the comparisons to Luol Deng, Kawhi Leonard, or even Tayshaun Prince in his prime are nothing to sneeze at, especially in this years’ draft. To some, dunks and behind the back passes are sexy. To me, winning is sexy and guys like Porter help you win games. With the ability to do so many things at a high level, Porter becomes the Pelicans swiss army knife, giving them what they need when they need it. If he has the mismatch, he can score. If they need him to focus on shutting down a wing player on the defensive end, he can do that too. Help on the glass on or weakside D? Porter can do that. What if an elite defender like Avery Bradley or Eric Bledsoe is pressuring our PG and preventing him from setting up the offense? No worries, you can run the offense through Otto Porter.

Dennis Schroeder is an intriguing high risk, high reward prospect and if the Pelicans trade down to the middle of the first round, he is one of the guys we should consider. But this is the Sixth Pick Tournament, and we are debating what the Pelicans should do if all of these options are available to them with that pick. The thought of taking a raw prospect who has put up solid numbers against the equivalent of above average high school basketball teams, just because he had a few solid days at the Nike Hoops Summit is preposterous. The guy has a freakish wingspan and appears to be quick against poor competition, but his height, weight, and vertical are all subpar. It’s also not entirely clear that he is a point guard. Again, against poor competition he averaged just 3.3 assists to 2.5 turnovers, a ratio that is 60% worse than the small forward he is competing against in this matchup.

Schroeder is an intriguing prospect and a great story, but this is the Sixth Pick Tournament. No disrespect, but the guy only deserves to be discussed in Mason’s Trade Down argument. He has no place here.

Draft Express Video         Combine Interview         12-13 Highlights

The Case for Dennis Schroeder (Gerrity)

After competing in Basketball Bundesliga (the top German league) against full grown men for the past year, it’s clear that Schroeder is a top level talent, and a serious candidate to jump up draft boards and past his fellow guards.

Upon entering the NBA he would immediately be one of the quickest players on any team, as capable as anyone of slowing down opposing point guards. “The first thing is defense,” Schroeder said in a pre-draft interview.

But… but… BUCKETZ

While there’s no doubt that Schroeder has some ball handling skills (check out these spin moves!), an already solid shot (40% from three point land on 3.3 attempts per game), and the the first step of a mongoose, it’s the defensive side of the ball where he really seeks to make the biggest impact.

He compares himself to Rajon Rondo (not as a shooter, don’t worry!), and perhaps it’s not so surprising that the Celtics have already reportedly given him a guarantee if he falls that far. While he’s only 6’1 or 6’2, he has a 6’7 wingspan which combined with his speed gives him the rare ability to actually have a fair shot containing the fastest of NBA point guards. A backcourt of Schroeder and Eric Gordon would be suffocating, especially with Anthony Davis manning the middle to plug up any leaks. While no NBA defense is going to truly impenetrable, that core has the potential to make it a heck of a lot harder for opposing players to score.

“The first thing is defense,” Monty Williams certainly said at one point…

But let’s talk about offense, where Schroeder also contributes in a positive manner. In 25 minutes per game this season (against men, not boys, mind you), Schroeder averaged 12.0 points, 3.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. Catch and shoot jumpers, a skill that translates well from just about anywhere to the NBA, were a specialty of Schroeder. In all of European League basketball he was the 6th most efficient of all on the catch and shoot, averaging 1.56 points per shot on 1.7 shots per game.

That kind of shooting skill combined with blistering speed makes him a mighty hard man to play defense against, especially in the NBA where double teaming is a necessity at times and the surrounding cast is a bit more capable of laying waste to a defense than their counterparts in Europe. Leaving Schroeder open in favor of helping out a struggling defender elsewhere seems like obvious disaster considering how good he is at shooting. At the same time, Schroeder is so fast that sticking only one man on him when he has the ball won’t even work in a coach’s dream once Schroeder has the opportunity to put on some pounds and improve his ability to finish inside.

His German competition may at first glance leave something to be desired, but he suited it up at the Nike Hoop Summit not too long ago and tore it up. Playing on the same team as incoming freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins (next year’s presumptive number one pick) and against top American-born players like Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker, Schroeder took care of business and then some.

He excelled in practices during the week and played well in the actual game, finishing with 18 points (one more than Wiggins) on 5 of 10 shooting to go along with six assists. More importantly, the opposition’s highly-touted backcourt of Harrison and Kasey Hill finished the night a combined 5 for 16 from the field, a testament to Schroeder’s defense.

As for Otto Porter, it’s hard to really argue against the guy. I’m not expecting to win this matchup this since Porter is widely considered a legitimate option for the number one pick and Schroeder is… well… not. It’s hard to argue with the consensus of NBA scouts.

It won’t surprise me to find that Schroeder is more highly regarded than Porter after year one, or even at the end of their careers, but it would truly surprise me if an argument existed that could convince the majority of you readers to vote that he will.

The most I can hope for is that you truly consider just how great Schroeder can be… and perhaps throw me a mercy vote.

[polldaddy poll=7144130]

For previous matchups in this tournament and the tournament bracket, click here.


  1. Papa Pelican

    June 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Poerter is undersize and don’t have the physical toughness on defense.On the offensive end he’s a good inside and outside shooter but the ball handling skills need to be addressed.

    • fearthepelicans

      June 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Porter is 6’9″. More than ideal for a SF.

  2. mojart

    June 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I vote for schroeder because the only way we will get porter is if we trade up….no chance he slip to 6….

    • Michael McNamara

      June 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      mojart As we said in the opening piece, don’t overthink it. This is not a tournament based on what you think will happen. The tournament asks one question: If these two guys were there, which one would you take? 
      Keep that in mind for all matchups. 
      And I actually go the other way. If I had to bet my life’s savings on it right now today, I would bet Porter is not taken in the top five. Only possibility IMO is number 3 and I would bet they talk themselves into Bennett or Len. 
      But either way, I am not saying this because I want to win this debate. This goes for Oladipo or Burke, or anybody else you might think is off the board when we pick. Doesn’t matter. The rules are simple; pick the guy you would want if both were available.

      • mojart

        June 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        Ok..if both are available my vote will go to porter because he is a position of need…I vote for schroeder because almost all mock drafts said that porter will not drop to top 5 and schroeder is a reach at 6…and I want him to advance so I can get more info about his game…

      • Michael McNamara

        June 2, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        mojart At this time last year, Drummond and Barnes were locks to go top five. Waiters was 13th-15th and Lillard was 10-12. 
        Mocks at this time of year hold very little weight in my book

      • 504ever

        June 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm

        Michael McNamara mojart  
        Yeah, Michael, I think you and I have been on the Porter may drop (and down to us) bandwagon earliest and often.  The main thing I see stopping it is if someone else jumps above us to get Porter knowing we will take him over any PG.  (And, if we get first choice of PGs, that isn’t the worst thing in the world.)

      • Houpgarou

        June 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

        For my money, the wiz will take Bennett #3

  3. Papa Pelican

    June 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    As for Dennis Schroder is a poor mans Brandon Jennings minus the chucker title and Nate Robinson.He have scoring ablity and the speed to go up and down the court.His defense is suspect he’s worth an 1st rd pick but to me he’s an draft and stash player for a season or two unless he’s drafted by an defensive minded coach thats willing to teach him defense.

  4. Houpgarou

    June 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    My favorite course of action at this point , trade down and grab Schroeder or mcw , as well as pick up some project on the wing ( Franklin Mitchell, the Russian?.?)
    That being said, I’d be stoked i f Otto slipped to us. It’s not unfathomable as I’m still envisioning a possibility where top 5 team(s) opt for size and reach for Len or zeller

  5. HollisBuckeye21

    June 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I know some people are starting to dislike Porter because of his size. I’m not going to play the Kevin Durant card, because I don’t find the skill sets comparable. However, I love Porter’s IQ. I think he could fall and be there at six. I believe it was Michael who in a recent podcast said if one of “The Big Five” slips, it’s Porter. I could not agree more.
    Porter’s ability to do so many little things, and do them well is something I really like. He can score when needed, but he has the ability to get others involved when there is a focus on him. Porter’s defense is a major plus side too. He is just the type of player that is always doing something on the floor and is usually making a difference. Would love to add that to this team.
    I don’t know too much on Schroeder honestly but have tried to research some. I think Porter is a lock to do something in this league, even as a role player. I could see Schroeder doing well, or also flopping, and I don’t want that risk at pick number 6 personally. Porter for me.

  6. 504ever

    June 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Two exceptionally well written pieces.  Too bad this is an early round match-up, cause Porter is the obvious choice.  I pray we draft Porter at 6 and buy back into the late lottery (with cash not assets) to get Schroeder.  That is my draft dream scenario.  We stash Schroeder for a year or two, and sign a nice SF to start and teach Porter the ropes for a year or two.  Then we have to upgrade at C and figure the Gordon/SG thing out.  But getting Porter and Schoeder in one draft surely adds to the keeper core of young high-quality players.

    • Houpgarou

      June 2, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      That is an ideal scenario, second only to oladipo dropping to 6. That Dallas pick that we’ve discussed certainly seems like its still on the market

  7. Houpgarou

    June 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Per Charley Walters on twitter: “looks like twelves will try to deal Derrick Williams and no. 9 pick to move up in nba draft.”
    I’m sure they want to move up more than three spots, but if they’d do it for 6, my initial thought is that I’d jump on that. You have your young potential d & 3 sf plus upside for more than that, and you get to pick a pg at 9, free agency / trade to go after a 5

    • Houpgarou

      June 2, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Otto is one likely target of theirs in such a scenario, as maybe they’re giving up on converting swill to the 3 and looking for a more traditional sf to put next to love. Of course they need help at the two also, so they might be trying to get to mclemore / oladipo range.
      Any takers on greivis and 6 for dwill, 9 & 26?

    • 504ever

      June 2, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      Derrick Williams?  Classic Tweener!  PF’s game SF’s size.  I don’t think he solves problems for anyone.  He can’t even find a role on a 31-51 Timberwolves team riddled with injuries.  Basically he is a #2 overall pick that isn’t making in in the NBA.  I don’t want him.  (I’d even prefer Budinger.)  So I’ll keep the 6th pick if I am Dell.

    • Caffeinedisaster

      June 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

      Houpgarou I’d take Williams & no. 9, but only if Noel, McLemore, Oladipo, Porter are off the board.  Then I’d pick Schroeder with no. 9.  Two birds, one stone.  Minny hasn’t been giving Williams the chance to succeed.  Monty will find a way.  The kid’s got a great upside.  He just needs to get out of that depressing weather.

      • Houpgarou

        June 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm

        Caffeinedisaster Houpgarou  
         Despite the glaring question of whether or not he’d be able to guard quicker forwards exists, he has too much game to pass up on to me.  Certainly seems like the kind of guy who has not gotten the reps and coaching to have a chance to play up to the lofty expectations of such a high draft pick.  
        Of course the wolves are not just giving him away, the 4 players you mentioned are of course the ones they’re seeking, specifically the minny beat writer Walters mentions oladipo.  2 and 3 is where they need help, they don’t need a pt. guard and they don’t want to trade one tweener for another like Bennett.

  8. dschmid4

    June 3, 2013 at 12:06 am

    If Otto Porter drops to the Pels at 6, we would be fools not to grab. Not that I expect Dell to consult with me, so be we – I mean Dell.
    However, Otto Porter has to be the  #1 overall seed in this tournament. It seems like most pundits have him going 3 or higher on their draft boards. And since the powers that be at Burb St Shots took the other two off the table. Opie (OP) has got to be the #1 overall seed. If my cursory knowledge of tournament seeding is on track , that would make Schroeder  the bottom seed by default –  #1 face # 16 in the first round. 16 don’t beat 1s in the first round very often.  What’s worse whenever I hear Schroeder – i think of  a little blond due playing piano for snoopy.
    But after reading the arguments above with an open mind, I want this Schroeder kid, not only does he seem far more athletic than any of the other Peanuts characters; he will make the Pelican better. And based on the arguments above – he sound like he is actually better than Porter. SO I VOTED SCHROEDER. 
    But If the pelicans have the chance they would be wise to select l Opie Cunnigham in the actual draft.

  9. vasilisGR

    June 3, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I haven’t seen much of Otto Porter, just the videos and the highlights (haven’t seen full matches) but I like what he brings on the table.
    Seems to me that two of his main issues are strength and speed- quickness.
    Now, I ve seen in the past players putting up  weight and gain some power and I ve seen players gain some acceleration.
    But how possible is for a player to improve in both areas at the same time? Cause different approach is needed and usually  the one harms the other.
    Even so, he is getting my vote.

  10. Caffeinedisaster

    June 3, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I like both of these guys, but #6 is too high for Schroeder.  You could probably get him with a pick in the late teens.
    I also like the comparisons of Otto with a Swiss army knife.  His game is by no means sexy.  You know who else’s games weren’t sexy?  Tim Duncan, Bill Russell, Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, Bernard King, Moses Malone, etc.

  11. berlinhornets

    June 3, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Well, talk about an unfair matchup. Nevertheless, me being from Germany it is life-long dream of mine to see a German born player in a Hornets/Pelicnas jersey. I had to pick Schröder and I am happy to see some more did so. He would be the long term solution at the PG position. There is so much growth still in in him in addition to his motor and some (well a lot) cockiness and good arrogance in his abilities to play basketball. 
    He is somebody who does not back down from anything. 
    Michael said: “Again, against poor competition he averaged just 3.3 assists”. This number seems low, but you have to consider that in European basketball that is a good stat. The second best assist man in the German league averaged 4.5 A/game. That is not too far off from Schröders average. The game is shorter, fewer shots are taken and the assists are handed more reluctantly.
    Both of you hinted at the fact that he played against real men. The other thing you forget is that in Europe with a few exceptions young players usually do not get such a big role on their teams. And the German league teams (at least most of them) are far better than just above high school.
    One more thing, I just checked Brandon Jennings tenure in Europe. A player many would like to have on our squad. When he played in Rome, he was of comparable age, but played way worse. True, it was different for him since he just left high school to play on another continent with a different language around him and everything. But the comparison can still be applied. In four years, Schröder has the potential to be way better than Jennings. He is better defensively and a better team leader.

    To some up: I clicked Schröderr. Nevertheless, right now for the Pelicans Porter would be amazing at the 6th spot, but man it would be great to have Schröder for the long run!

  12. jsl05

    June 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I love Schroeder, but there’s no way I pass on Porter. He would be the dream pick IMO.

  13. TMBocage

    June 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I pick Porter, although I wish there was a better option if he’s available.

  14. nolafredo

    June 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Too easy a pick. Porter fills an obvious need, is highly though-of by every basketball fan and would likely be one of Monty’s favorite players ever.  
    Now if the Pels do end up grabbing a late round pick, I would have no problem with them grabbing Schroeder.  The basketball gods know we need more scorers on this team.  To quote Kyrie Irving in bad make-up, “the game has always been and will always be about buckets.”

  15. jsl05

    June 4, 2013 at 9:10 am
    Dennis Schroeder Draft Express Scouting Video

  16. Pingback: New Orleans Pelicans Sixth Pick Tournament: Porter vs. MCW | New Orleans Pelicans |

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