Credit: Missouri Athletics

Jontay Porter Draft Profile

Breaking down the NBA potential of Jontay Porter

Soph. 6’11” 240 Center Missouri 19 Yrs. Old
9.9 ppg 6.6 rpg 1.7 bpg FG: 43.7% 3 PT: 36.4%

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Recruiting Profile

Wingspan: 7’0.25″

NBA Comparison: Al Horford/Kelly Olynyk

Strengths: Outside Shooting, Efficiency, Rebounding, Rim Protection

Weaknesses: Speed/Quickness, Athleticism, Durability

After his freshman season where Porter averaged 9.9 points per game, and showed off some impressive abilities from outside of the paint, many expected him to head to the NBA alongside his brother Michael. He surprised some by returning to school, and before suffering an ACL tear in his right knee in a preseason closed scrimmage. The news got worse with Porter re-tearing his ACL while rehabbing in March of 2019, leading his professional future in limbo. There are many positives in his game, with his outside shooting being the attribute that sticks out the most. Listed at 6’11” while shooting the ball at 36.4% from the three point line on 3.3 attempts per game is impressive, but even more so when you consider he reclassified before entering college and was 17 until November of his freshman year. The ability to stretch the floor as a big man is something that NBA teams can fall in love with, and previous to his re-tearing his ligament, he was still viewed as a first round pick while sitting out the season. The shooting efficiency is impressive, but he also rebounded at a high level averaging 6.8 per game, in just 24.5 minutes on the floor. With some players who rely on the outside shot being such a large part of their game, they lack certain other skills that earn them minutes, and his rebounding is something that can have him a coaches good graces even if his shot is not going down in that particular game. As a freshman Porter averaged 1.7 blocks per game, showing that he has potential as a rim protector and again, this is another area that can help him going forward preventing him from being known as just a shooter. 

Before the injury riddled year Porter has had, he was still not the best athlete on the floor, and obviously that notion will only be emboldened with him tearing the same ligament twice in the past 6 months. The one possible positive to this is that Porter can be effective without being a great athlete, especially if he shot can continue to be efficient. There will be overall questions on how valuable he can be to a team as simply a pick and pop big man, but nonetheless that is a role that teams currently retain players on their roster to fill. How he is perceived to be responding to rehab and progressing with his injury will be huge going forward for Porter, especially when you consider that his durability will be called into question given the recent injuries. Defending quicker players will be an issue as he attempts to make/stay in the league, although if Porter can be an average defender laterally at the next level coupled with his offensive abilities, he will get minutes and his ability to block shots will help. As an inside scorer, he has shown that he can do it when called upon, proving that the potential is there with some crafty inside moves when he is not spreading the floor. As a big man his ball handling is above average, although this will most likely not be a huge part of his game at the next level, however he has made some impressive drives to the basket or pull up jumpers with use of his ability to handle the ball. All of this means that he is one of the hardest prospects to analyze in the draft class, but also one with some upside if he is able to stay healthy and be an effective scorer. 

Here is a typical inside move that he has the ability to make:

Here are a few plays showing off his versatility: 

As we mentioned before, when Porter was rehabbing his torn ACL he was viewed by most as a mid to late first round pick. Once he went down with the same injury in the same knee, his draft stock has been all over the board. At this point it is a semi-safe bet to assume that he will be selected somewhere in the mid to late second round, but he could just as easily go undrafted with uncertainty following the second injury.  His skill set and size are impressive, but there will no doubt be concerns about his durability going forward, which could leads teams to pass. It is still too early to tell with his re-injury happening in March of this year, with his value to a specific team being largely determined by how well he is coming back in the rehab process. The ceiling for Porter as a professional would be a starter level big man who can stretch the floor offensively with his shot, and block shots, possibly coming off of the bench in a sixth man role if it suits that particular team. The worst case scenario is that he is unable to return to form after the second injury, or is unable to stay healthy, leading him to get a short but brief shot at the NBA and then ultimately playing overseas or in the G League. 

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