Michael Porter Jr. Increasingly Becoming NBA Draft’s Biggest Wild Card

Michael Porter Jr. Increasingly Becoming NBA Draft’s Biggest Wild Card

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

NBA scouts have watched Michael Porter Jr. since 2014 at USA Basketball camp. Yet one week before the 2018 draft, he’s the lottery’s biggest wild card. 

With Porter presumed to have recovered from November back surgery, his camp raised eyebrows Thursday, the day before his second scheduled pro day, telling teams he “developed some inflammation that wrapped around his nerve and caused massive spasms,” per ESPN.com’s Jonathan Givony

Considering Porter is receiving looks from teams high in the lottery, it’s a development worth investigating.

Before the announcement, a source close to Porter’s circle told Bleacher Report the family “feels good about him going top four,” and that “more than likely” the Sacramento Kings could pull the trigger at No. 2. 

This comes a day after USA Today’s Sam Amick reported the Kings could take Porter. A rival executive confirmed to B/R that he could envision Sacramento selecting him that high. 

Doing so would mean taking on risk, particularly with Duke’s Marvin Bagley III, Slovenia’s Luka Doncic, Texas’ Mohamed Bamba and Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. all attractive, qualified candidates once Phoenix takes Arizona’s Deandre Ayton at No. 1. 

So why would Sacramento or any of these top teams gamble on Porter, who played 53 minutes as a freshman and faces questions about his durability?


Why teams may gamble

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Porter measured 6’10 ¾” at the combine, which in today’s league, works at center. But his game mirrors a wing’s, pointing to mismatch scoring potential as a combo forward.

He didn’t play well in Missouri’s final two contests and still managed to total 28 points. Porter just has a knack for putting the ball in the basket, and he can do it in a variety of ways—ofte

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