Storyline: Michael Porter Injury

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No Michael Porter this season?

Since then, the organization has been in lockstep with one another on that message. “We understood the risk-reward situation with Michael Porter, and we felt at 14 he was far too great of a talent to pass up,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said during an in-game interview on NBATV during Denver’s Summer League win over the Celtics Saturday night. “And we’re going to to be patient. We’re not going to rush him back and that’s the luxury we have. “We have a very good team coming back, we have a very deep team so there’s no reason for us to say ‘Michael’s got to play this year.’ We’re going to give him all the time and treatment he needs to get better and hopefully he can get back and help us this year.”

Harrison Wind: As expected, draft picks Michael Porter Jr and Jarred Vanderbilt will not play at Summer League for the Nuggets. Here’s the team’s full roster including 2017 draft-and-stash Vlatko Cancar, who’s playing for Slovenia in 2019 World Cup qualifiers right now.

Will he play next season? If so, when? Will he ever truly be healthy? Nuggets president Josh Kroenke told The Undefeated he was uncertain about whether Porter Jr. would play in summer league or during the 2018-19 season. Before his post-draft news conference, Porter Jr. walked around with a slight limp as he took a congratulatory phone call from Kroenke and head coach Michael Malone. Kroenke, an ex-Missouri guard, was ecstatic to land Porter Jr. “Michael is an incredible talent and we were surprised to see him available at No. 14,” Kroenke told The Undefeated via text message. “We know the risks associated with him due to his recent back injury at Missouri, but he’s an incredibly hard worker, is an outstanding young man and we think he will fit in well with our up-and-coming group in Denver.”

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.

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.
1 year ago via ESPN

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.

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.”

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February 18, 2019 | 6:00 am EST Update

Beal recruiting for Wizards during All-Star Weekend

The Wizards’​​ sole All-Star representative is looking three-and-a-half months ahead to the start of free agency — and maybe even beyond that. Beal joked to The Athletic on Friday that he may have to spend the weekend tampering with the other 25 All-Stars in Charlotte. Then again, maybe he wasn’t joking too much. The two-way recruiting has already begun, as he admitted following Sunday’s game. “It was really crazy,” Beal said. “A lot of guys were coming to talk to me and asking me how I feel. The recruiting process is really going all right. It’s going all right. I’m trying. This is new for me. So, I’m definitely getting some ears and seeing where guys’ minds are at.”
Still, the league does not enforce player-on-player recruiting as if it were tampering. So, in this case, Beal can “tamper” away. And opponents can return the favor. “Guys were, ‘So, what y’all doing in D.C.? How is D.C.?’ Or I’m asking, ‘What’s your situation? What you thinking about? How you feeling? Any changes need to be made?’” he said.
So, uhhh, who was it? “I can’t name no names. I’m not gonna name no names. I ain’t gonna name no names. You’re not gonna have me out here for tampering. I ain’t gonna throw no names out. I’m keeping them in my piggy bank, my back pocket right here,” Beal said. “But in July, hopefully we can do something.” Beal, who has two seasons remaining on his contract with the Wizards and says he wants to stick around, is a known shooter, but this is a halfcourt heave. Props to him for at least being the guy who chucks before the end-of-quarter buzzer sounds.
James said he’s healthy and focused on the stretch run. “I feel great,” James said. “Looking forward to the second half of the season. Looking forward to seeing what we can do to get back in this playoff race. That’s my only mindset. That’s the only thing that’s going to happen in my mental space for these next two months, pretty much on how I can get this team playing the type of level of basketball we were playing before my injury.”