Porter Jr. Falling To 14 "Biggest Story" Of Draft

Michael Porter Jr. was once a potential No. 1 pick, but many teams questioned his health – and his personality

Taz and the Moose
June 22, 2018 - 10:44 am

USA Today Images


The 2018 NBA Draft wasn’t short on star power, and it wasn’t short on storylines. From DeAndre Ayton going No. 1 to Phoenix to Marvin Bagley going No. 2 to Sacramento to Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Mikal Bridges all getting drafted – and then traded – the NBA provided an action-packed evening Thursday.

But the biggest story of the night didn’t involve any of those players – or teams.

“The biggest story of the draft was Michael Porter Jr. falling to (Denver at) 14,” basketball insider Jeff Goodman said on Taz & The Moose. “This is a kid that I thought would go No. 2 before the season and if his back checked out. But obviously there were too many teams who had their medical team tell them, ‘Hey, listen, I would stay away from him just because of the back injury. He was only 18 years old when he suffered it. Who knows how long he’s got in this league?’”

Porter, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2018, was limited to just three games at Missouri. As a result, teams questioned his durability. 

They also questioned his personality.

“I had heard it from the preseason when (he was) healthy,” Goodman said. “I’ve known Michael Porter for three or four years and I really like him as a kid, so when I got these questions, I was really shocked. The first one came in and I’m like, ‘That’s not Michael Porter. I’ve spent a lot of time with this kid. He’s engaging, he smiles, he shakes your hand, he looks you in the eye – all that.’ But then you get another call and another call, saying, ‘What’s wrong with his kid? He doesn’t really connect with his teammates and he looks arrogant. He carries himself that way. He looks disinterested.’ So, I think (that) played into it, but ultimately . . . he slipped to 14 (for medical reasons).”