Denver Nuggets budding star Michael Porter Jr. exploded last season, being one of just two players in the NBA to average 19 PPG on 44% from deep. The other was Kevin Durant. This level of dominance came just two years after an LA Clippers doctor told him he would never play again.
On a recent episode of JJ Redick's "The Old Man and Three" podcast, Michael Porter Jr. revealed that a doctor from the Clippers wrote a pre-draft report that said Porter Jr. would probably never play basketball again. MPJ was battling injuries during his pre-draft workouts, but this Clippers doctor clearly misdiagnosed him.
Before his injury battles in college, Michael Porter Jr. was projected to go no lower than top-3 in the 2018 NBA Draft. His 6'10" frame and pure jump shot has often drawn Kevin Durant comparisons, which makes the aforementioned stat about MPJ and KD unsurprisingly fitting. To understand just how good Porter Jr. was last season, we must look at not just how his numbers compared to others in 2021, but to the entirety of NBA history.
Last season, Michael Porter Jr. became just the 2nd player in NBA history to average at least 19 PPG and 7 RPG on 44% from deep. Not only were he and Durant the only players to do it last season, but they were the only players to do it ever. That is how good MPJ was just two years after being told he would never play again.
In the 2018 draft, the Clippers had consecutive lottery picks. They selected Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the first one, and with Porter Jr. still on the board, the team drafted Jerome Robinson 13th overall. Michael Porter Jr. was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the very next pick, and the rest is history.