University of Missouri

Where could MU’s Jontay Porter go in Thursday’s NBA Draft? A look at some projections

Jontay Porter has one of the widest ranges of any NBA prospect expecting to hear their name called during Thursday’s draft. Originally projected as a lottery pick, Porter’s stock took a big fall after he tore his right ACL twice in the past eight months.

One NBA executive told The Star at the draft’s combine in May that there’s a world in which Porter goes late in the first round, because his talent when healthy exceeds other options on the board.

But there’s a chance Porter elects to go undrafted if he isn’t selected in the first 40 picks, which would likely give him a guaranteed contract. Going undrafted allows him to pick the best financial and roster situation.

Here’s a look at some of the teams that could pick Porter, based on draft projections.

No. 49 to the San Antonio Spurs (The Athletic): Porter would be a great fit under a coach such as Gregg Popovich, who is considered one of the greatest of all time. The Spurs are known for having a stellar medical team, giving Porter a great rehab program. The Spurs are also a perennial playoff team. This would be an ideal situation for Porter.

No. 46 to the Orlando Magic ( A surprise playoff team this past season, Orlando has a ton of frontcourt depth, with the likes of Jonathan Isaac, Mo Bamba, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. Given the depth, the Magic would take its time to bring Porter back, but the amount of youth at those positions brings into question his long-term prospects with the organization.

No. 33 to the Philadelphia 76ers (Sports Illustrated): A top-40 selection and a team that has Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons? Not bad at all. Porter would give the Sixers another 6-foot-10 player who is capable of handling the ball and spacing the floor in Brett Brown’s offense.

No. 48 to the Los Angeles Clippers ( Porter would love playing for Clippers coach Doc Rivers, but it’s tough to gauge the team’s situation because they’re expected to be heavy players in free agency. Should the team land Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, or both, the team’s championship prospects could significantly change. The Clippers have a good mix of respected veterans and young players, making for an ideal situation for a player that will be spending most of next season on the bench as he rehabs. The Ringer also has Porter going to the Clippers with the No. 56 pick.

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.