Michael Porter Jr. was one of the most hyped freshman in the country. And that hype will only continue as he enters the NBA, as the former Missouri player was taken with the No. 14 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.
In his lone season at Missouri, Porter played in only three games because of a back injury. Porter played only 2 minutes in the first game of the season before exiting with an injury. He averaged 10 points per game in those three games.
Porter tumbled down draft boards, as some pegged him as the No. 1 player in the draft heading into the year. He had to deal with a number of questions regarding his medicals in the run-up to the draft. In addition to his back condition, there were concerns about his hip. Reports had indicated that Porter could’ve been selected as high as No. 2 by the Sacramento Kings.
Almost no one saw him slipping as far as he did in the draft at the end of the lottery. However, Porter steps into an excellent situation as he could help get the Nuggets back into the playoffs next season.
After being drafted, Porter spoke with ESPN’s Maria Taylor.
“I’m not entitled to this,” Porter said. “Everything’s a blessing. I’m so excited. My path was a little bit different than everybody else’s but I’m going to make sure this pick is the best pick they’ve ever made.”
Porter’s table reacts to the news. pic.twitter.com/qjjLXcfl55
— Alex Schiffer (@TheSchiffMan) June 22, 2018
Porter will join former Tigers in the NBA in Jordan Clarkson and DeMarre Carroll. Porter Jr. is the first member of the Tigers picked in the first round since 2009 when Carroll was taken with the No. 27 overall pick.
The first pick of the 2018 NBA Draft was Arizona big man Deandre Ayton. He was taken by the Phoenix Suns. Porter was the fourth SEC player taken, as Collin Sexton of Alabama was picked eighth by the Cleveland Cavaliers. And Kentucky’s Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were also taken before Porter. Knox went No. 9 to the New York Knicks, while Gilgeous-Alexander went to the Charlotte Hornets with the No. 11 pick before being traded to Los Angeles Clippers.