Perhaps the greatest mystery, beyond who Phoenix is going to take with the No. 1 overall, is what will happen with Missouri forward Micheal Porter Jr.
At this time last year, many saw Porter as an equal to Deandre Ayton and a real possibility to be taken first overall. But a back injury sidelined Porter Jr. for most of his freshman season, and when he did return, he wasn’t nearly as explosive as he had been in high school. There was clealry some rust to his game, as he struggled and Missouri lost the two games he played in at the end of the season.
But the NBA draft is all about projecting forward, and former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady had some lofty praise for Porter Jr., when McGrady appeared on The Jump on ESPN.
“When I look at him play I see myself,” McGrady said.
For those who don’t remember, McGrady was one of the best scorers in league history, a 7-time All-star and he made 7-different All-NBA teams, including first team twice. He also averaged 32 points per game during the 2002-03 season.
McGrady also compared Porter Jr. to current Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum, saying Porter Jr. could have a similar first season. Tatum set a Celtics rookie-record by scoring 20 points in seven consecutive playoff games, breaking a record once held by Larry Bird.
As for where Porter Jr. projects, that’s a little tricky. He likely won’t be taken first or second overall, as those spots are likely earmarked for Ayton and Luka Doncic. But the Hawks could possibly take him at 3 or he could potentially slide all the way to pick No. 10.
It will be very interesting to see where Porter Jr. goes, but given that teams will want to check out his back injury, he may have some control into where he goes, as he can choose which teams to workout for and share his medical information with.
The 2018 NBA Draft is set for June 21. The NBA draft order was set last night with the NBA draft lottery.