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Michael Porter Jr. – 6’10″ Small Forward, University of Missouri, 19 Years Old
Michael Porter Jr. enters the 2018 NBA Draft with a high upside as a lock for a lottery pick down to mid first rounder. Porter Jr. spent just one year with the Missouri Tigers and was unfortunately stunted due to a back injury. Additionally, he only played three games last season which included an early exit in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to this season, he was ranked second on the ESPN Top 100, and while his draft stock has dipped slightly he is still regarded as one of the highest potentials in this draft.
Porter Jr. put up a slightly disappointing stat line in his three games at Missouri. However, much of this was due to returning from a lengthy injury and the limited playing time he received. He averaged 10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 33 and 30 percent from the floor and three-point range, respectively. These numbers are far from Porter Jr.’s normal output on the court. His blend of size and athleticism, mixed with his silky smooth touch on his shot is the exact kind of wing player the NBA scouts are after. Porter will find himself taken early in the lottery with how many teams are in demand for a wing of his talent level.
The first thing that jumps out when watching Michael Porter Jr. is his size. He was measured at 6’10 in his shoes with a 7’0″ wingspan and a 9’0″ standing reach. His size makes him stand out on the wing but also gives him the ability to play the stretch four.
Porter Jr. also has a highly coveted jump shot. Most notably his form, rotation, and arc on the shot and follow-through. Also, he shows great athleticism to explode into a jump shot and elevate on spot-up and pull-up attempts. Porter Jr. isn’t a ball dominant scorer as he will he find his shot throughout the offense yet, he can score efficiently instead of forcing shots. He finishes well at the rim in transition and uses his athletic ability to run the floor a lot quicker than other players his size.
At 6’10″, Michael Porter Jr.has excellent potential as a defender. His speed and length allow him to frustrate smaller opponents with his size on the perimeter. He mixes that perimeter defense with a solid shot blocking ability. He isn’t the strongest but he has a strong core and won’t be pushed around inside.
Most of Michael Porter Jr.s weaknesses arise on the offensive end of the floor. While Porter Jr. does have a silky smooth shot and he can run in transition, he lacks an array of ball handling moves that will force him into tough shots at the next level. He also doesn’t have much of a post game despite his size advantage. When the game is slowed down in the half court he can become heavily reliant on shooting over defenders.
Porter Jr. would also benefit by adding more muscle as he currently weighs in at a light 216 lbs. Porter Jr. also looks passive at times, letting the game come to him a bit too much. He needs to do a better job of asserting himself into the flow of the game in order to succeed in the NBA.
Michael Porter Jr. will fit right in as he is currently playing one of the most sought-after positions in basketball. His ability to defend both on the perimeter and inside the paint already make him a great value to any team. Once you mix in his sleek jump shot and his unselfish attitude, what you find is an instant starter in the NBA. Many teams in the top draft positions will have to consider his potential and even his possible rise to stardom.
NBA Player Comparison
Michael Porter Jr. is an exhilarating prospect who resembles a bit of Joe Johnson and a bit of Rudy Gay. Both players are smooth scoring wings who also possess good size and length outside. On his best day, Porter Jr. could look like a Kevin Durant type who can score at will and do everything on the defensive end.
With Michael Porter Jr., any team can rest easy on the decision to draft him as his scoring touch and athleticism should place him in any starting rotation. Look for Michael Porter Jr. to go anywhere from the fourth pick down to the 10th pick on draft night.
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