Michael Porter RumorsAll NBA Players
The NBA folks who thought Porter’s return would hurt his stock had varying reasoning. One said the actual performances had no impact, as he clearly wasn’t in game shape. But he said the returns “raises questions” to why he didn’t return earlier. Another said there may be an “overreaction that blames it on these two games,” but pointed to the real concern coming from “the back surgery itself and people deciding he doesn’t have the personality/mentality to be a killer.” Another scout pointed to Porter having already earned a rep for being “soft.” (Other knocks include defensive indifference and carrying himself as a bit “too cool.”)
The camp who felt Porter helped himself brought up an interesting perspective. One veteran executive pointed out that the grit to play hurt means more than his milquetoast performances. Being willing to play when you aren’t 100 percent is a big part of NBA life, the executive reasoned. Another scout added that simply playing in the games will be important for a general manager in convincing an owner to take a player that they’ve likely tanked their season to draft. “Obviously the medical records will be key, but the fact that he simply showed he can play, and it’s unlikely that he has a debilitating back injury is very important,” the scout said.
Porter was injured two minutes into his much-hyped NCAA career, robbing the Tigers — and scouts — of the pleasure of watching him this season. But Porter has mostly maintained his status as a top-five pick in the draft based on the explosiveness and size he showed coming out of high school. Healthy now, Porter has been practicing for the Tigers, but it is unclear whether he will play in the upcoming SEC Tournament or beyond. He probably would not damage his stock if he did.
Scout’s take on Michael Porter: “The only danger would be getting hurt again, but he’s been cleared by all the doctors, so he should not worry about that. I don’t think he would pay a price if he came back and struggled a little — if anything, he will get points for trying to go out there and contribute. It’s like Kyrie Irving’s situation (in 2011). Kyrie had his ups and downs when he came back, but he still went No. 1.”
Kevin O’Connor: I don’t know that that’s for sure [that Michael Porter Jr will be a top five pick whether he plays this season or not]. A handful of people that I talked to at Sloan, they viewed Porter before the season and now as the No. 6 or No. 7 guy on their board. So if you’re Michael Porter and you’re seeing yourself at 6-7-8 and you think you’re the No. 1 guy, I absolutely think there’s a lot to gain [from him playing this season].