The Denver Nuggets rolled the dice this year on the biggest risk/reward pick in the draft, Michael Porter Jr. So what are the five things you should know about him?
Michael. Porter. Junior. Denver. Nugget. #MileHighBasketball— Matt Sauter (@MattSauter13) June 22, 2018
- Porter played just three college games while missing most of the season after back surgery. That’s more than Emmanuel Mudiay, who spent his brief time in China prior to an ankle injury, but the Nuggets are making a pure scouting call on someone who was rated the #2 player in the country out of high school. Carmelo Anthony was once the #2 high school player, for reference - but of course Quincy Miller was considered that by Scout.com as well. These things are never exact. Denver is trusting both its doctors and its scouts on this call, and it could pay off in a huge way - or bust completely.
- Porter is another big man with point guard skills. The Nuggets had no idea how incredible Nikola Jokic would be at facilitating ball movement, but when Magic Jokic arrived on the scene, it changed the landscape of the Nuggets offense completely. Denver is known for getting the ball moving around the floor to find the best looks, and adding Porter’s skills to the mix will only make things better.
- Porter isn’t known for defense, but he’s not known for being a bad defender either. I would have liked to see the Nuggets go for a really tough defender, but a grab that has the ability to turn into a solid defensive player is a fair settlement to make. With a 6’10” frame, and a 7’ wingspan he has the promising tools to be key on the defensive end for the Nuggets as he develops.
- Porter’s shooting ability may be able to replace some of what was lost when Danilo Gallinari went to the Los Angeles Clippers. I know, I need to get over it, but Gallo’s ability to draw an opposing big man out from under the rim while he sank shots from deep was one of the things that made him so special. Now, if he can hone his defending abilities and provide some defense on the perimeter as well the Nuggets will be in good shape with him as their first pick in this year’s draft.
- And to top it off, a personal fact about Porter. He was home schooled for much of his pre-college education. Looks like he definitely learned how to work hard to achieve his goals.
Ultimately, bringing on any new player will be a risk for any team. Perhaps the Nuggets are taking the right risk on Porter, and once he is at full strength he will hopefully become a solid asset for the team as they continue to build.