The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...
2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Kevin Porter Jr.
Max vertical: 34 in.
2018/19 stats: 9.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.5 bpg, 47.1 FG% (3.5/7.5), 41.2 3PT% (1.3/3.2), 52.2 FT%
Player comparison: Danny Green, Courtney Lee
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 15th, NBADraft.net 32nd, Bleacher Report 15th, Sports Illustrated 12th, Ringer 15th
5 things to know:
*Porter is an intriguing prospect in that he probably could be a top-10 pick if he stayed in school another year. But with the chance to go in the top 20 this June he decided to leave school as a one-and-done and jump into the professional ranks. If developed correctly, Porter has a good chance of exceeding his draft slot.
*He had a bizarre shooting split at USC in that he made 41.2 percent of his threes, and on 3.2 attempts per game, despite making only 52.2 percent of his free throws. The first number is exceptional, the second is absolutely terrible and especially for a guard. Porter only took 46 total free throws in college, so perhaps it was just a matter of small sample size.
*Porter's season was affected by a deep thigh bruise he suffered in November. It forced him to miss 10 games and hampered his play in a few others. If it weren't for that, he may have posted a much higher scoring average.
*His season ended prematurely because of a suspension for an undisclosed personal conduct policy violation. All of it was kept very vague by USC, but you can bet the topic will be addressed in the pre-draft interview process. Depending on what the violation was, Porter could have some character concerns.
*Porter's NBA career may depend largely on the coaching staff he is brought into. He is very raw on both ends of the floor. Some evaluators believe his shot needs a mechanical adjustment and he has to refine his ball-handling. The fundamentals don't appear to be there for him on defense, either. If he lands with a team that isn't good at player development, it may affect him more than it would another player.
Fit with Wizards: Porter isn't a great fit for the Wizards for several reasons. One is that he plays shooting guard and that's the one position they are settled at with Bradley Beal. Sure, they could use some depth behind Beal, but they have so many other needs.
Porter also seems like more of a project than the Wizards should take on. If they do pick a player as raw as Porter, they may be able to get someone with even higher upside like Sekou Doumbouya. Ideally, they can bring someone in who will contribute right away and offer star potential down the road.
If the Wizards trade back and get another first round pick, maybe they can justify taking Porter. But there seem to be too many questions for him to be the guy at No. 9.
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