BOSTON -- The hype train was in overdrive well before Kevin Porter Jr. set foot on the USC campus last fall.
That’s how it is when you’re one of the most coveted players in the nation, a shoo-in to be part of the one-and-done fraternity of college-to-pro ballers.
But the production never quite meshed with the promise of greatness that so many saw in Porter Jr., which is why he is considered a player with top-10 talent who at best will be among those chosen near the end of the lottery (top-14) or further down the first round draft board.
But the Celtics are never one adverse to taking a chance, particularly when it comes to drafting a player with significant upside in a draft where there’s very few can’t-miss prospects.
That’s why the idea of adding a player with top-10 talent is intriguing to a Celtics team with a trio of first-round picks (No. 14, No. 20 and No. 22) that all fall outside of the top 10.
But if it were just a disappointing season that raised concerns about Porter Jr. at the next level, that could easily be put aside by most teams.
Indeed, the red flags - that’s plural not singular - outside of his first-year production are what more than anything else, make him one of the more polarizing prospects in this year’s draft class.
That’s why he has been projected to go anywhere from the top 10, to the 20s in the first round.
During his freshman season at USC, he said his play was impacted by quad injury that eventually sidelined him for a significant chunk of the season.
He would later say that he came back to playing too soon, and that he needed to trust his body more so that he makes better decisions as far as what to do and what not to do when it comes to returning from an injury.
Shortly after his return, he was also suspended indefinitely for a “personal conduct issue.”
"It’s very disappointing. We need all our players to be healthy and be available. We have a short roster as it is," USC coach Andy Enfield told reporters at the time. "The last thing you want to do as a head coach is suspend any of your players, but when there's conduct issues, we have no choice."
And that incident, one in which Porter Jr. has been asked about by every team in some form or another, only adds to the mystery and uncertainty surrounding one of the more talented players in the draft whose draft night drop may be to the benefit of the Boston Celtics.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.