Will Jontay Porter follow older brother Michael on the path to professional stardom in the 2018 NBA Draft?
Many thought the answer to that question was “yes” for the talented Missouri hoops player, but that may not actually be the case.
Porter is “leaning toward” returning to Cuonzo Martin’s Tigers for his sophomore campaign, according to NBA sources who recently spoke with The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.
Buried in the depths of a very detailed and informative takeaway piece on the 2018 NBA Combine, O’Connor dropped some news that is likely to make Mizzou fans squeal with excitement:
“Multiple league sources say Missouri big man Jontay Porter, the younger brother of Michael Porter, is leaning toward returning to school for his sophomore season. Porter is a skilled shooter and passer who needs to get in better shape to prove he can defend. He’s currently projected as a late-first- to mid-second-round pick. The 2019 draft class is weaker, so Jontay could rise into the lottery with a strong sophomore season.”
While older brother Michael, who is expected to be a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft in June, missed much of the 2017-18 Missouri basketball season with a back injury, the younger Porter delivered a more productive freshman campaign.
After deciding to reclassify as a freshman for last season in order to join his high-profile brother on the court, Porter delivered a solid performance as the Tigers’ sixth man, averaging 9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
At 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds, Porter has NBA size to go along with his versatile style of play. But as O’Connor points out, Porter played as a younger-than-usual freshman last season and may actually see his draft stock rise if he returns to Columbia and becomes one of the Tigers’ top performers in the 2018-19 season.
The 2018 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 21. The event will air on ESPN and will begin at 8 p.m. ET. Porter will have until May 30 to withdraw his name from consideration for the draft and return to school.