The Denver Nuggets picked Michael Porter Jr., who has injury concerns, with the No. 14 pick in the draft.
The Denver Nuggets selected 6'11" Michael Porter Jr. with the No. 14 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
Porter was considered the best small forward in the country in the class of 2017. He earned McDonald's All-American honors, and more impressively won MVP of McDonald's All-American Game. Porter originally signed with Washington in the fall, but was released from the team to join Missouri instead.
The freshman barely saw the court due to a back injury earlier in the year, but he was cleared to play in the last two games of Missouri's season. In very limited playing time, he averaged 10 points and 6.7 rebounds, shooting 33% from the field. The Tigers fell to Florida State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Jeremy Woo's grade: A-
This is a serious risk that comes with real reward at this spot for Denver, who get a potential top-five talent at a late lottery price. Porter, if he can stay healthy, could evolve into the type of scorer that may elevate the Nuggets’ other core pieces. How much he plays this season and how slow they roll him out as he recovers will be a topic to follow in the coming weeks. You can’t hate the value here, and some teams were less concerned than others about the state of his long-term health.
SI.com's Jeremy Woo broke down Porter's strengths and weaknesses.
• Ideal body for his skill set, with the size, length and high release to shoot over the top of defenders. Could spend time at either forward spot offensively.
• Polished, highly skilled offensive game. Fluid athlete when at 100% health. Lives off of straight drives and pull-ups. Soft shooting touch. Plays in transition.
• Will add value as a rebounder and make the occasional defensive play. First and foremost a scorer but not a one-note talent. Stands to grow into added responsibilities.
• Serious back injury at a young age creates added uncertainty surrounding his athletic profile and long-term health. Has to prove he’s right physically.
• Has never been much of a playmaker. Tends to be a ball-stopper and look for his shot. How will he adjust to playing with more talent around him?
• Not an especially committed defender. Multiply that with his back issues and it’s fair to doubt what type of consistent impact he might be able to make on that side of the ball.
• Some teams have concerns about his attitude, maturity and work ethic.