Michael Porter Jr. is the kind of player who could cost an NBA general manager his job.Don’t select Porter in Thursday’s draft, and if he turns into a star, the GM who passed possibly made a bad decision.Draft Porter, and if he doesn’t turn into a star because of his back issue and other draft picks turn into stars, the GM made the wrong decision.The draft in general comes with risk. Scout, analyze and research, but there’s no guarantee a team makes the right pick.Porter comes with even more risk because of his health situation. A year ago, he was considered a potential No. 1 pick based on his impressive skill set for a 6-11 forward. But he needed surgery on back discs in November, missed almost all of his freshman season at Missouri and entered the draft shrouded in mystery.
He worked out and disclosed his medical information for a small group of teams on his pro day in Chicago last week.“I think a few teams are probably still concerned, and I understand that,” Porter said. “But they all have my medical records, my MRIs, and I feel like for the most part, most of them feel comfortable.”
Just before that workout, Porter was bothered by hip spasms, causing more concern.“We got an MRI,” he said. “It turned out better than the last MRI, so that was good. I was worried for a second, but I was glad to hear that. I feel great now.“Everybody after my pro day was buzzing. They saw how I performed, how I was moving. I think that got people excited, saw that I’m looking good.”
Is that enough to convince a team in the top five (Phoenix, Sacramento, Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas) to take Porter? Teams can’t evaluate him on his brief college career – 53 minutes – but can review his high school career and workouts in which he displayed elite scoring and defensive capabilities.