Porter and Young appeared to be sure-fire Top 5 selections just days ago. But now there are grave concerns about Porter’s problematic back and Young’s willowy frame, concerns that could possibly drop them out of the top 10.
Adam Himmelsbach: Michael Porter Jr. on injury concerns surrounding him: "I think a few teams are probably still concerned, and I understand that. But they all have my medical records, my MRIs, and I feel like for the most part, most of them feel comfortable."
Porter was able to work out for teams on Friday after a hip injury scare, but the workout did not completely allay fears about Porter’s injury history. He had back surgery in November, and there is ample concern, according to front office sources, that Porter will be an injury question mark throughout his NBA career, at least in his early years.
Sam Amick: The Kings aren’t the only top five team wrestling with the Michael Porter Jr. question: I’m told the Grizzlies are still seriously considering him at No. 4 - health concerns and all - after today’s medical display for lottery teams. Like Sacto, trading down is a possibility too.
Sean Cunningham: The evaluation in Chicago with Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. was characterized as having gone well for the draft prospect. A specialist led teams, including the Kings through an evaluation of Porter's medical report. Haven't ruled out visiting teams prior to Draft, sources say.
Multiple NBA teams are, as one source put it, "comfortable with the risks'' involving drafting Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. despite his injury history, which this week caused the on-again postponement of a workout today in Chicago. And yes, the Dallas Mavericks, I'm told, are among those "comfortable-with-the-risks'' teams.
James Ham: Confirming news from this morning - the Sacramento Kings are one of the teams in Chicago meeting with Michael Porter Jr. again today.
Eddie Sefko: Mavericks are sending a crew to Chicago for Michael Porter Jr.'s second workout. Medical staffs from teams in the lottery are converging for the look-see this afternoon. With Porter's back, trusting the docs and athletic trainers is critical. He's a wild card.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Access for NBA lottery teams and doctors to evaluate Michael Porter's surgically repaired back is "trending" toward happening in Chicago on Friday, his agent Mark Bartelstein told teams in an email a short time ago. Teams are preparing to travel, and will get final word tonight.
Shams Charania: Teams have been informed that Michael Porter Jr. is feeling better and MRI returned clean, with "positive review," league sources told Yahoo. Workout assessment could be rescheduled on Friday, sources said, but decision likely comes later today. twitter.com/ShamsCharania/…
Porter is expected to be re-evaluated by his doctor again Thursday night, league sources said. Porter’s training has been ramped up over the past three weeks, causing the spasms in his hip. He appeared returned to his normal status on Thursday.
A quick note on Michael Porter Jr. In the KMOX interview, Porter Sr. said his oldest son has not yet released his medical information to NBA teams but underwent a physical by the Chicago Bulls medical team last Thursday. He’ll host a pro day this Friday in Chicago that’s open to any team that’s interested in watching him work out. The following week the teams drafting in the top 10 will have another day to see him up close and inspect his surgically repaired back. The Porters will share the Bulls’ medical report with every other NBA team, Porter Sr. said. The Bulls have the seventh overall pick.
Mike McGraw: Porter Jr.: "They had me the No. 1 player in high school, but I didn't even feel like I was 100 percent, and I do now. So I'm just excited to show everybody the player I am and that I'm still the best player."
Mike McGraw: Porter Jr. on back: “I feel better than ever, actually. That injury happened a couple years ago and it had just gotten worse. So I feel pain free and I feel better than I've felt in a long time." #NBACombine
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.
Jeff Goodman: Source confirmed that Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr., has been cleared for full contact. Source also told ESPN: "Not sure if he will play this season."
Jon Rothstein: Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. has been fully cleared for all basketball activities, per a source.
Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr., a projected NBA draft lottery pick who has played just two minutes this season because of November back surgery, remains hopeful of playing again in 2017-18 for the Tigers. "There's a good chance," Porter told reporters Friday afternoon. "I think doctors are going to be amazed at my progress. "I'm feeling better every day. I'm hoping the doctor feels the same way."
Six-foot-10 Michael Porter Jr was considered by many NBA executives as a candidate to be the No. 1 pick in June's draft thanks to his combination of size, length and skill. However, many NBA executives told ESPN they are concerned about a lingering back injury, which necessitated surgery in November. "It depends on the medical reports," one general manager told ESPN. Porter said he doesn't have any concerns about coming back and risking further injury, but multiple NBA executives have told ESPN it's not something they would advise because he is still likely a top-10 draft pick even if he doesn't play another college game.
Adam Zagoria: I'm told by a source close to the situation that reports that Michael Porter Jr. could return in 4 weeks for Mizzou are inaccurate. No timetable on a return, but he is going through the rehab process. pic.twitter.com/R8vh43hZWr
I asked a dozen personnel people how concerned they were with Porter, Jr.’s surgery and if it will impact where he’s picked. The responses were mixed. “If it’s a standard microdiscectomy, it shouldn’t be much of an issue (lots of those procedures on NBA players),” one general manager said Sunday via text. “If it’s more than that, the result could be of greater impact. If he can do a few draft workouts, he should be just fine. It may play out like the (Joel) Embiid draft where Joel was affected by a couple picks (because of the foot), but not much beyond that.”
But another executive had a different view. “No doubt it hurts him,” the exec said. “Obviously the medical evaluation will be more important and often times as we know, the agents with players at this level withhold information from most of the teams so it will be an interesting decision as to how they handle. Backs are like knees and serious foot/ankle injuries. Tough ones.”
Gary Washburn: Kyrie Irving offers his take on the Michael Porter situation and some advice: "It's tough for any young kid to go through that, especially if they haven't been through any real injury in his life.... I'm pretty sure NBA scouts have enough on him--or have seen enough of him--to know whether he's gonna be in the top 3 or 2 [of the draft].... He's a 3/4-man who's able to handle, crazy athletic and can shoot from the outside. He's a talent."
June 25, 2022 | 11:17 am EDT Update
Khalifa Diop, 20, a native of Guediawaye, Senegal, played last season for Gran Canaria in Spain, averaging 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocked shots in 15.7 minutes of 49 games. President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman said Diop would remain in Spain next season under the watchful eye of ex-Cav Jose Calderon, now a special advisor to the front office.
“It’s a great league for his development, and if it’s the right team, he’ll also play against other teams from other countries,” Altman said of Diop. ‘Hopefully the team he will play for will be EuroLeague level even though it’s in the Spanish League. Jose will make sure he’s well taken care of.”
Ryan Resch, 29, works in basketball operations for the Suns, where he serves as vice president of strategy and evaluation for the Suns and essentially functions as the front office’s chief-of-staff. He attends to the big-picture responsibilities of team-building and runs staff-wide meetings alongside general manager James Jones, who has been a mentor to him. This past winter, Resch came out to Jones, then the rest of the Suns’ staff. He is the first openly gay person in league history to work basketball operations in an NBA front office.
How did you first come out to the Suns? Ryan Resch: My thought was, ‘If I’m gonna do this, then I’m going to do it the right way,’ and I wasn’t going to hide behind it any longer. I told [Phoenix general manager] James [Jones] in my office randomly one day, after practice. We were playing Miami at home and I wanted to bring somebody I was seeing at the time to the game and have him sit with me in our executive suite. And I obviously can’t do that unless you tell the other executives whom you’re bringing. In true James fashion — he has been referred to as the best teammate of all time by several of his former teammates — it was amongst the most nondescript conversations we’ve ever had. By that, I mean there was a beauty in how uneventful it was, because he was just so accepting and so generous and kind about it from the jump.
Have you had any interaction with Sarver since you came out? Ryan Resch: I hadn’t seen him or had a chance to talk to him in person for a few months after I came [out] to James and the rest of the organization. My then-boyfriend had been coming to games during that period. When I told Robert a couple of weeks ago, he was amazing. He told me, “I’m so happy you feel comfortable enough to live as who you are, and bring someone special to you to a game.” We spoke about Rick Welts. The best part of the conversation was our discussion about how it’s the quality of the work that will determine my trajectory professionally in the franchise. It’s about merit.
June 25, 2022 | 11:00 am EDT Update
Andrew Wiggins: When they talk it’s all motivation. When I first got here, everyone had something to say, now everyone is quiet. That’s the best feeling, when people doubt you, and people sleep on you, and don’t think that you can do something that you know you can do, that you’ve been doing your whole life. It’s good to just make those guys kick rocks.