NBA

The Denver Nuggets Have a Gem on Their Team in Michael Porter Jr.

The Denver Nuggets have been one of the top teams in the west during the 2019-20 NBA season. They have a lot of young talented players. One player, in particular, is Michael Porter Jr.

Porter missed all of last season due to a back injury, and he has made a name for himself this season, especially during the NBA restart.

Michael Porter Jr. was a high school phenom

Porter had himself an impressive high school career. He received many accolades during his senior year. He was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Washington, and he was the Gatorade National Player of the Year and the Naismith Prep Player of the Year in 2017. Porter also was named the McDonald’s All-American Game MVP. He originally committed to Washington but ended up changing his mind and committing to the University of Missouri, where his dad was hired as an assistant coach.

Missouri was excited to get one of the best basketball recruits, and Porter was expected to have a good freshman season. Unfortunately for Porter, he missed most of the 2017-18 season due to an injury he suffered in the season opener against Iowa State. It was a lower back injury that required surgery. In February of 2018, he was cleared to practice with Missouri and played again during the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament.

Despite missing most of his freshman season, Porter decided to forgo his final three seasons and enter the NBA draft.

The Denver Nuggets took a chance on Michael Porter Jr.

The Nuggets selected Porter with the 14th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. His draft stock fell because of health concerns, but the Nuggets saw something in him that they liked and wanted to get him before anyone else could. When the Nuggets drafted Porter, they discussed the possibility of having him sit out the season because of his back problems. In July of 2018, Porter had undergone a second back surgery.

Once again, Porter had to miss some time due to an injury. He would make his NBA debut on October 31, 2019. Porter came off the bench and scored 15 points and had four rebounds in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. In December, he made his first NBA start against the Sacramento Kings and had 19 points, and six rebounds as the Nuggets picked up the win. Porter was having an impressive performance for the Nuggets before the season was suspended.

Michael Porter Jr. continues to impress during the NBA restart

Porter picked up where he left off when the NBA returned. During the Nuggets’ first victory in the bubble, Porter scored a career-high 37 points and 12 rebounds against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the next game, he had another impressive performance with 30 points and 15 rebounds. Porter’s 67 points during those two games are the most by a Nuggets rookie in franchise history.

He also became the first rookie with consecutive 30-point, 10-rebound game since Blake Griffin in 2011. This is the player that the Nuggets had hopes of seeing when they drafted him. At 6-foot-10, Porter is very versatile and has a lot of upside. When he’s healthy, he can make an impact as evident to what he’s doing so far during the NBA restart. Porter has the potential to have a successful NBA career.