USC Men’s Basketball did not enjoy a fruitful year, finishing with a 16-17 record, which placed them eighth in the PAC-12. There were not many bright spots for them this past season. But, the basketball program could be seeing one of their own shine in the NBA. Kevin Porter Jr., a former five-star recruit, declared for the NBA Draft after his freshman season. Porter Jr. is one of the most intriguing draft prospects. Let’s take a look and his profile and predict where he will land.
Kevin Porter Jr. NBA Draft Profile
Porter Jr. entered USC as one of the best high school players in the country. Coming from Rainer High School in Seattle, Washington, he was ranked 16th by Rivals.com and 40th by ESPN. At USC, Porter Jr. came off the bench. On November 6th, 2018, in his debut, he scored 15 points and was 6 of 7 from the floor. Soon after, Porter Jr. battled injuries and controversy. He injured his quadriceps on November 20th. He returned to action on December 1st, but only lasted four minutes after his quads were bothering him.
Porter Jr. returned January 10th. However, he was suspended a few days later for personal conduct issues. Porter Jr. returned to action on January 24th and played the rest of the season. Porter Jr. finished his freshman year with 9.5 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, and shot 47.1 percent. He played in 21 of USC’s 33 games.
Porter Jr.’s measures 6’6 and 218 pounds. He has the size to be effective at the shooting guard position. The combination of his size and athleticism will enable him to switch onto small forwards as well. He has a lot of untapped potentials. In his first five games at USC, he averaged 14.0 points per game off the bench. He also had an impressive performance in the second round of the PAC-12 Conference Tournament. He scored 17 points and was six of eight from the floor. Porter Jr. has proven he can be an efficient player, especially on the scoring side.
Porter Jr. did not see a ton of action. He was a bench player throughout his freshman year, only starting in four games. Injuries are also a concern. His injuries affected his play after he returned from suspension, which led to a minutes decrease. His sample package is very small and could affect his stock. Porter Jr. is a top-five talent. However, his limited experience, injuries, and suspension could hurt his chances of being a lottery pick.
NBA Player Comparision
Porter Jr. compares to Jamal Crawford. His size, scoring ability, and athleticism match Crawford’s. Crawford is one of the greatest sixth men in NBA history. He can score the ball at will in limited minutes. Crawford also left college after his freshman year. At Michigan, Crawford averaged 16.6 points per game and averaged 33.9 minutes.
NBA Draft Projection
Kevin Porter Jr. has the talent to be a top-five draft pick. But he will not be selected in that range. He will be selected in the 10-14 range. Teams such as the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets could use his services as they need a versatile scorer. Porter Jr. has the potential to be a steal. He has one of the higher ceilings among all draft prospects.
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