After weeks of speculating over potential draft night trades for Denver—both up and down in the first the round—the Nuggets stood pat after all and took Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th pick. This is a surprising selection on numerous levels. Not only was Denver heavily considering trading their first pick, but few, if any, expected Porter Jr. to be left on the board this late in the draft.
Porter Jr. is one of the most talented players in his class and was projected as a future number one overall pick when he was still in high school. MPJ had by far the most upside of any player left on the board by the time the Nuggets were on the clock, but there is still a ton of risk involved in this pick. The 19-year old missed almost the entirety of his freshman season at Missouri after requiring lower back surgery and that’s likely the only reason he was still available.
With so little playing time under his belt and considerable concerns about his health both in the immediate and distant future, Porter Jr. is one of the bigger mysteries of this draft. He only played 3 games for the Tigers and analysts have little to draw from whether they turn to film or statistical production.
Nuggets fans expectations for Thursday night have swung wildly over the last couple of weeks. The first rumors to emerge described Denver’s interest in attaching the last year of Kenneth Faried’s deal to pick number 14. Then came the slim possibility of trading up for Doncic. But despite not making a trade, the Nuggets have made a big splash with their pick — one that will leave Nuggets fans with a mixture of excitement and uncertainty.
The Stiffs are standing by and ready to interview Porter JR. over the phone from the Pepsi Center and we’ll bring you more content throughout the night featuring quotes from MPJ himself as well as the front office.
In the meantime, enjoy this limited highlight video of the newest Nugget — welcome to Denver, Michael.