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20 questions: Are the Denver Nuggets about to see the real Michael Porter Jr.?

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The Denver Nuggets may have a star on their hands, but a lot has to take place in order for Michael Porter Jr. to flash his full potential.

Denver Nuggets Shootaround Photos by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

When the Denver Nuggets drafted Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, they took a chance on a player that had a lot of question marks. Porter fell to the Nuggets on draft night as questions about his health scared teams away, but not Denver.

With the Nuggets already having a core in place of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris, they could afford a risk like Porter. Not only was Porter a projected top-3 pick a year before having to sit out most of his lone season at Missouri, but the Nuggets also presented an opportunity for him to redshirt his rookie year. That allowed Porter to rehab all of last season and learn from a Nuggets team that put together a highly successful season. All that learning and mental reps was finally going to be put to the test for Porter at summer league, which ended up not happening because of a knee injury he suffered just days before the Nuggets embarked for Vegas.

Porter’s debut for the Nuggets was officially on hold again, which will hopefully come to an end on October 8th when Denver plays their first preseason game in Portland. All eyes will be on the Nuggets rookie sensation, who will be out to show people what he can do.

If Porter is healthy, the Nuggets might have something special. Whenever Porter has been healthy in his basketball career, he has arguably been the best player at his age in the country. A 5-star recruit coming out of high school, Porter signed with the University of Missouri, where he unfortunately only got to play three games.

His college career will not get you excited, but if you go back to just three years ago when Porter was in high school, it is hard not to get excited about this Nuggets rookie. How are these stats... Porter averaged 36.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, and five assists per game during his senior season at Nathan Hale High School. Porter led them to the schools first ever state championship in a game he scored 27 points and hauled in 17 rebounds.

Porter was the 2017 Naismith Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year, and was a McDonald’s All-American. In that All-American game, Porter scored 17 points, hauled in eight rebounds, and won the game’s MVP.

2017 McDonald’s All American Game”n”n Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Pretty good, right?

It is no secret how good Porter can be when he is on the court, but that has been his biggest problem. Availability is the greatest ability, which is something he has not been able to provide each of the last two seasons at Missouri in college and in Denver during the first year of his contract.

If Porter is finally healthy and ready to contribute this season, there is no doubt that Denver could use his services. A player that possesses Porter’s skill set is rare and it is one that would thrive next to the likes of Jokic, Murray, and really any one on the Nuggets roster.

The only real question surrounding Porter is his health and whether or not his body can hold up at the NBA level. Luckily for the Nuggets, they should be able to find out if that is the case sooner rather than later.

If Porter can put together a solid training camp and thrive in the preseason, he could definitely have a role on this roster when the Nuggets open regular season play in Portland on October 23rd.

To answer the question though, it truly is inconclusive. The Nuggets have yet to see the real Michael Porter Jr., but they hopefully will shortly. Last year was a redshirt year for the Nuggets rookie with this upcoming season in mind for when he could finally help the team.

All that rest and rehab will finally be put to the test next week when the Nuggets open training camp, which should hopefully clarify where Porter stands moving forward. If he is healthy and ready to rock — watch out — Porter and the Nuggets could just take the NBA by storm.