Michael Porter Jr.
The last couple of years have been a bit of a whirlwind for Porter.
After starring in high school in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri, Porter transferred to Nathan Hale High School in Seattle to play his senior season under former NBA star Brandon Roy. Porter’s father, Michael Sr., was then hired as an assistant at the University of Washington, which led the son to commit to the school.
The plan seemed like it was all coming together … until it wasn’t. Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar was fired, which caused Porter Sr. to jump ship and take a job as an assistant at the University of Missouri where another son, Jontay Porter, was committed.
Following much thought, Michael Porter Jr. joined the rest of his family at Missouri. However, the good vibes didn’t last long.
Just two minutes into his collegiate debut, Porter suffered a back injury. He later had a microdiscectomy to repair his back and was able to return for only a pair of contests in the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.
In all, the consensus No. 1 overall prospect coming into the year was limited to just three games and 53 minutes during his lone disappointing season in college.
The first thing you notice about Porter is his size. At 6-10 and patrolling the wing, he presents a massive matchup nightmare for most opponents.
That’s mainly because Porter can fill it up. He’s very smooth and polished on the offensive end, which was displayed when he averaged 36.2 points per game as a senior in high school.
Also, when you were once viewed as the No. 1 overall prospect in your class, you bring elite-level confidence to the court. “I know without a doubt that I'm the — I played against all these guys, they're all great players — but I'm the best player in this draft," Porter said at the NBA draft combine earlier this month.
At this point, the top issue regarding Porter is his health. It’s not often you see 19-year-olds undergo spinal surgery.
As far as on the court, Porter can stand to put some weight on his slender frame, improve his defensive technique and he tends to rely on his jump shot too much at times.
It’s far too easy to see the size and skill set of Porter and link him to Kevin Durant. But that’s not at all a comparison I’m prepared to make.
We’ll go with another Porter, as in Washington Wizards swingman Otto Porter Jr. Both are lanky wings that prefer to pull up over their opponents with range that extends to the three-point arc.
How he'd fit with Sixers
For a team that couldn’t consistently get outside shooting and was victimized by the Boston Celtics’ length in the Eastern Conference semis, Porter would appear to fit like a glove. He would easily be able to spot up for jumpers in the Sixers’ pace-and-space offense and add another long body for foes to work around on the other end.
Porter’s lost season in college makes his exact draft spot a bit of a question mark. He has all of the talent to go at the top, but should fall somewhere in the mid-lottery.