Michael Porter Jr. is one of the more fascinating prospects in this draft. Once the top high school recruit in his class, Porter’s back injury nuked his lone season at Missouri and raised red flags in the pre-draft process. Now there are even more questions surrounding Porter after he canceled Friday‘s second pro day in Chicago due to a strained hip and muscle spasms that kept him from getting out of bed, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania reports that an MRI came back “clean” and the workout could be rescheduled soon.
Despite these latest developments, Givony reports that Porter is unlikely to fall past the Bulls at No. 7. Givony notes Porter interest from the Kings, Grizzlies and Mavericks, with USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick also reporting the Kings’ interest on Wednesday night.
Porter did have one pro day already last week and reportedly looked good despite being only around 50 percent physically. (He also lost some strength in his left leg due to his back surgery.) The Bulls conducted his medical examination and released the results to every NBA team, with the results reportedly on the “encouraging” side.
Porter very well could be hurting, but the NBA Draft conspiracy theorist in me has me wondering if he and his team are playing up the injury in order to avoid certain teams and potentially even pushing him toward the Bulls, the team with the best knowledge of his medicals. He has made Chicago his home base during the pre-draft process and has hinted toward wanting to be a Bull.
I’d be fine drafting Porter because of his upside, but the red flags regarding his health, locker room fit and game are concerning. He certainly is not the guaranteed star a good portion of fans seem to think he is.
If the Bulls don’t wind up with Porter, there have been rumblings of Kevin Knox being in play. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor mocked Knox to the Bulls in his latest projections (Porter is at No. 4), and the Kentucky product had an impressive workout:
Kevin Knox's (@KevKnox) workout was definitely one of the more impressive ones we've seen thus far. Not hard to see why his stock seems to be rising in the pre-draft process. He could very well end up in the top ten. Interview included. https://t.co/qVvjILwjLM— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 12, 2018
I wasn’t all that impressed by Knox at Kentucky and he feels like a reach at No. 7, but there is potential there as a versatile scoring forward. He’s not even 19 yet and wasn’t always utilized in the best way at Kentucky, so he could blossom and really break out in the NBA.
Either way, get ready for a week full of smoke and rumors. Buckle up.