Many people decided way too early on that Michael Porter Jr. was going to be a bust, as he spent the enitre 2018-2019 season on the shelf with a back injury. I have no idea why people keep on assuming this whenever a player doesn’t play their first year after being drafted, as we’ve seen it happen with both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons recently, and both of them are in talks for sleeper candidates for the MVP award this year.
A lot of people don’t understand how good Porter Jr. actually is, so let me break it down for you. During high school, he led his team at Father Tolton High School to the 2A Missouri State Championship. He then transferred to Nathan Hale High School in Seattle for his senior year, where Brandon Roy was the head coach. During his senior season, he averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds a night while leading his team to a perfect 29-0 record. He was also selected for the McDonald’s All-American game, where he walked away with the MVP award for the game.
He committed to Missouri to play college ball, but got injured in the first game of the season and required surgery for his back. He went on to play 2 more games towards the end of the season, but came off the bench in both for precautionary reasons. He averaged 10 points on 17 minutes per game in those 3 games.
He then decided that he was ready to go into the draft, and was still selected 14th overall by Denver even with the injury concerns towards his back. As stated before, he missed the entire 2018-2019 season due to that injury, and did not make his debut until last night, where he scored 15 points while connecting 62.5% of his shots in just under 21 minutes of basketball.
If he continues to play like that and is given more time, he really could cause some problems for opposing teams as he gets more experience. If you look at Porter’s Per 36 Minutes stats, he is averaging almost 26 points and 7 rebounds a night, and that’s as a rookie.
All I’m saying is look out for Michael Porter Jr. this season and beyond, because the kid is just too good to ignore.