With the 2018-19 NCAA season said and done, the players, coaches, and scouts turn their attention to the draft. With the 2019 NBA Draft less than two weeks away, we take a look at some of the top players in the nation and where they are slotted to start out their NBA careers.
“With the 16th pick in the 2019 NBA draft, the Orlando Magic select… Kevin Porter Jr”. These are the words the now-former USC Trojan guard will be hoping to hear come June 20th. Well, at least that’s what we, at Def Pen, think in our 2019 NBA Mock Draft. Let’s take a moment to highlight some of the best and worst Porter has to offer on the next level based off what we saw in his short time at USC.
Play under pressure
Porter came to USC at the start of the season already a projected lottery pick in the upcoming draft. While the Trojans finished a measly 16-17 (8-10), Porter proved his worth and hold on to the hope that he will become a shining star to a deflating eastern conference team. He posted an average of 10 PPG, 3 RPG and 2 APG playing 22 minutes per game. On top of that, Porter is arguably among the best shooters in the project lottery picks, if not the entire draft. In his lone season with the Trojans, Porter shot 41% from three on almost six attempts per game in primarily a bench role for USC. The kid is not afraid to let it fly.
The USC guard did so while dealing with off-court problems. Porter missed two games in January due to “conduct issues”, USC Head Coach Andy Enfield said at the time.
Slam Dunk Contest might need Kevin Porter Jr. ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 30, 2019
NBA Combine Measurable’s
Kevin measured in with a 6’4 height (6’5.5 in shoes), with an impressive wingspan of 6’9. He weighed in at 212.6 pounds with a body fat percentage of 5.1%.
His slim figure and low body fat allow Jr to move quickly up and down the court, losing defenders on one end while shaking them on the other. With this, he still leaves room to grow, which should excite any team within the 15 – 20 pick range.
With Porter only playing in 21 games this season, due to both injury and behavioral issues, NBA teams may take that as a sign pointing out his immaturity and need for more guidance that NBA teams normally aren’t equipped or expected to deal with.
With Porters injury so early in the season, teams might shy away from drafting him, especially with the jump to an 82 game season and potentially heavy practice loads.
2019 NBA Draft Comparison: Patrick McCaw
Porter has been drawing many comparisons to players such as James Harden, mostly during the first five-game stretch of the season where the USC guard showed his potential. But the team here has concluded a more suitable comparison as he heads into the league, Patrick McCaw. Kevin Porter Jr’s ability to handle the ball and “make something out of nothing” mirrors McCaw’s play style as well as the body type. Is there room for Porter to grow and become a potential All-Star guard with MVP aspirations? That’s up to Porter to decide.