The Charlotte Hornets are expected to interview top draft prospect Michael Porter Jr. at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine.
According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, Michael Porter Jr. is scheduled to meet with the Charlotte Hornets on Day 2 of the NBA Draft Combine. The 6’11 freshman is a projected lottery pick. MPJ is also set to interview with the Sacramento Kings, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Boston Celtics.
He’s already met with the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s clear that a lot of teams are interested in the Missouri product.
Porter Jr. was considered the top prospect coming out of high school but his stock fell in college after missing most of his freshman year and only playing in three games after undergoing surgery for a back injury. Despite the doubts surrounding his game and health, he made a bold statement when he said, “I know without a doubt that I’m the best player in this draft.” (ESPN.com)
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He was projected to be a lock in the top-three before college but now there is a chance that he could fall to the end of the lottery. (SLAMonline.com) Barring any trades, Charlotte will have the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. They could be in prime position to select Michael if he falls outside of the top-10.
In the three games that he did play this past season, Porter Jr. averaged 10.0 points per game, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals while shooting 33.3% from the field, 30% from three and 77.8% from the free throw line. Although, teams won’t look too much into his college numbers as he was returning from injury and trying to get comfortable.
The intrigue with MPJ comes from his athletic ability and versatility at both forward positions. Even though he is 6’11, he has the ability to stretch the floor and can handle the ball well for a player of his size. NBADraft.net compares him to Kevin Durant and Joe Johnson.
It’s worth noting that Mitch Kupchak and the Charlotte Hornets are also going to meet with Michigan State forward Miles Bridges and have already interviewed Maryland center Bruno Fernando. They will likely meet with a number of players before the combine finishes.
If not for a back injury, Porter Jr. would probably be considered the top-three player in the 2018 Draft Class. His landing spot in the draft could depend on his medical and if he truly is fully healthy and pain-free like he says he is. (USAToday.com)