Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr announced yesterday that he is planning to enter the 2018 NBA Draft. Porter played in just three games last season, including playing only two minutes in his first game against Iowa State. In the two complete games Porter has played this season (SEC Tournament vs. Georgia, NCAA Tournament vs. Florida State), he has averaged 14 points and nine rebounds in the two losses. Porter is entering the draft with NBA scouts having two games of NCAA footage from him, which brings up the question: Is MPJ worth a top-10 pick? The answer is obvious, yes, he is.
Michael Porter Jr started his high school career at Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School in Columbia, Missouri, before transferring his senior year. Porter played his senior year at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington. At Nathan Hale, Porter dropped thirty-seven points per game, en route to being named the second-best top high school prospect in the country. Porter’s father was a coach at Washington, leading to Porter committing there. However, after his father got a job at the university in the same town that he grew up, Porter changed his commitment to the University of Missouri.
Mizzou fans were on Cloud 9. The commitment of Porter added to a class that already has brought in four-star recruits Jeremiah Tilmon and Blake Harris. It also led to Porter’s five-star younger brother Jontay reclassifying and joining what ended up being the fourth best-recruiting class in the nation. The Tigers were finally going to compete for the SEC championship. They were finally going to battle with Kentucky for the kings of the SEC. On November 10th, they saw the savior of Missouri basketball take the floor for the first time, grab an offensive board, get two points, then walk-off the court. That was as much action as they would see from Porter for almost four months. Three games in his college career could lead to Adam Silver announcing his name before anyone else’s.
Questions are arising about if the Missouri prospect is too risky to take with a top-10 pick? He missed all but three games with a back injury. That’s a considerable risk. If I’m an NBA team though, I don’t care. Michael Porter Jr could be the best NBA player from this LOADED draft class. DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Trae Young, Mohammed Bamba, and more, are all phenomenal talents, but MPJ may be on a level of his own. His scoring ability is untouched by anyone in the class or anyone that we’ve seen out of college since Kevin Durant. Porter can score from any spot on the court. He’s athletic, can shoot, can finish, and isn’t too shabby on the defensive and rebounding end. When you watch him play, you see glimpses of every great scorer to play the game. Porter isn’t any of those players. He’s not the next KD. He’s not the next AI. He is the first MPJ.