- Michael Porter Jr. fell to 14th in the NBA Draft on Thursday over concerns about his health.
- Porter was once considered a potential No. 1 pick but played just three games in college because of a back injury.
- In the process, Porter lost millions of dollars.
Michael Porter Jr. was projected as one of the top players in the NBA Draft, but fears over an injury caused him to tumble down the order on Thursday.
Porter Jr. played just three college games with Missouri last season because of a back injury that required surgery. The 6-foot-11 forward was considered one of the more gifted freshmen in the country, with ESPN ranking him as high as No. 2 in the country upon entering college.
Porter’s pre-draft process only muddied the picture. He had a public workout with several teams canceled because of hip spasms. He later rescheduled the workout once the spasms subsided while speculation began that he may need to sit games out this season.
On Thursday, the day of the draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported that Porter was sliding down in the draft due to concerns about a medical report that teams got their hands on that suggested a less-than-ideal outlook for his health. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski called the report “less than glowing” during the draft.
Porter was the consensus seventh pick leading up to the draft, but some suggested he could go high as No. 2. ESPN’s Jay Bilas said on Thursday that had Porter not suffered the injury, he might have been No. 1. Instead, he got selected 14th by the Denver Nuggets.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the injury may have cost Porter at least $6 million.
Michael Porter Jr.’s injury cost him at least $6 million guaranteed, as much as $26 million on a four-year deal.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 22, 2018
Last year’s seventh pick, Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen, made $3.8 million last season. The 14th pick, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, made $2.4 million. Porter may have lost a similar amount in just one season.
Porter was all smiles upon being drafted, telling ESPN he was just happy to make the NBA and more motivated to prove the league wrong. As a bonus, he was selected to a team closer to playoff contention than other lottery teams.
Nonetheless, Porter’s injury cost him financially, and doubts will remain about his health until he puts together a solid, prolonged stretch on the floor.