The Los Angeles Clippers have been recently linked to former Missouri Tigers forward Michael Porter Jr. in the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft.
According to Kevin O’Connor, the organization would be willing to package their two lottery picks in a trade to move up and draft the coveted prospect (via The Ringer):
“The Clippers are open to moving up in the draft, according to multiple league executives. They’re armed with picks numbers 12 and 13 and have the assets to get creative. A front-office exec said that Michael Porter Jr. is a possible target for the Clippers, who could slide the forward into their modernized system as a go-to scorer.”
O’Connor noted that franchise owner Steve Ballmer, who lives in Seattle, discussed Porter Jr. on a podcast with Bill Simmons last year. The 19-year-old played high school basketball there on a team coached by former NBA star Brandon Roy.
Porter’s back injury last season could prevent him from being selected with one of the first three picks in the draft. According to the report, despite recent speculation, the Memphis Grizzlies are not interested in trading away the fourth overall pick in the draft.
This leaves the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls as the most likely partners for a potential deal.
The Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps believes that the former Missouri forward “could go as high” as fourth or fifth in the draft but won’t go past seventh if his back injury passes medical tests. It’s worth noting that the Clippers are one of the teams that he has already met with during his pre-draft process.