Former Mizzou forward Michael Porter Jr. was looking like a consensus top-three pick coming out of high school, with an NBA-ready skill set that includes a smooth shooting stroke, superior athleticism and a 6’10 frame perfect for today’s ‘pace-and-space’ NBA.
However, a decision to undergo back surgery in November likely cost Porter the chance of being drafted in the top-three, as the forward missed the majority of his freshman season before returning in late February, playing limited minutes over the team’s final few games, including in Mizzou’s NCAA Tournament loss to Florida State.
Despite this, the former five-star recruit believes he is the best player in this year’s NBA Draft, he said at the NBA Draft Combine, according to Malika Andrews of the Chicago Tribune:
Michael Porter Jr.: “I’m the best player in this draft.” pic.twitter.com/48MjTo0cyQ
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) May 17, 2018
Porter later emphasized his enthusiasm to get back on the court and beginning his professional career in the NBA:
“I was hoping to turn college basketball upside down, just like a lot of these players, but this is just a step in my process. It’s a little different, but I’m more ready than ever. I’ve been dreaming about this NBA stuff for so long. I feel like I’m ready.”
Despite a history of back problems dating back to high school, every NBA team covets having a pure scorer on its roster, and that’s exactly what Porter has the potential to become, among other things. Early to mid-lottery teams will likely be giving Porter a long look approaching next month’s NBA Draft.