Jontay Porter’s NBA stock has taken a turn for the worse.
Porter, the Missouri power forward who missed his sophomore season after tearing ligaments in his right knee during a preseason scrimmage against Southern Illinois, recently re-tore his right ACL while in Denver, multiple sources told The Star. The Missouri basketball team confirmed the injury.
Porter was in Denver rehabbing his first knee injury. Sources told The Star the injury didn’t come directly from rehab but happened while he was on the court working out. It’s unknown if Porter was cleared for activity when he was injured.
As a freshman in 2017-18, Jontay Porter averaged 9.9 points per game and was chosen Southeastern Conference co-sixth man of the year as he helped lead Missouri to its first NCAA Tournament in five years, despite the absence of his older brother, Michael Jr.
Jontay Porter reclassified, skipping his senior season of high school, to play with Michael Porter Jr. before his older brother’s back injury emerged following the first game of the 2017-18 season. After Porter Jr. went to the NBA, Jontay Porter was expected to be the focal point of MU’s team this past season. Missouri finished 15-17 without him.
In a weaker draft class, Porter had been projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick. Since Missouri’s season ended at the SEC Tournament, Porter has yet to announce if he plans to go pro or return for his junior season.
The repetitive nature of the injury is an obvious concern. If he doesn’t return to Mizzou, Porter could potentially appeal more to a contender that doesn’t need him immediately and ease him back, like the Denver Nuggets have done with Porter Jr., who hasn’t played this season since being drafted 14th overall last summer.
“I think this latest injury creates a major red flag around his re-torn ACL as far as the health of the knee going forward and his medical status in general,” one NBA scout said of Jontay Porter. Scouts aren’t allowed to publicly comment on the players they evaluate.
“While he had a real chance to be a first-round pick, a lot of teams will have to revisit their needs and priorities. Established playoff contenders may want to really look at him as he can rehab and won’t have to rush back versus a team looking for an immediate impact player.”