Michael Porter Jr revealed some details about his draft process on the JJ Redick Podcast that clarify why he fell to no. 14 in the 2018 NBA Draft.
MPJ has rapidly emerged as the Denver Nuggets’ sharpshooter par excellence in his 3rd NBA season. The 6’10” forward has an extremely high release point that makes him virtually unguardable as a jump-shooter.
He finished 2020-21 averaging over 20 points per game on excellent shooting splits. He carried this form into the playoffs as well, lighting up the Trail Blazers with 6 3-pointers in the first quarter of Game 6.
This is a far cry from 2018, when many basketball fans questioned if back injuries would ever allow him to play. Porter Jr himself wasn’t that sure about his own prospects at becoming fully fit. These misgivings were reinforced all the more during his draft process after his freshman year at Mizzou.
Michael Porter Jr describes how the Clippers’ head doctor’s diagnosis caused him to fall in the draft
JJ Redick brought Michael Porter Jr out as the most recent guest on his podcast. There were a ton of revelations made by the Nuggets youngster, but perhaps the most illuminating ones were regarding his whole draft process and how he fell to no. 14:
“I just had one Pro Day. All the teams came to me in Chicago. And I worked out pretty well, I was in some pain, but I thought that was just part of the rehab process. I worked out really well. Sacramento is like ‘If you feel good, we’ll take you with the no. 2 pick.'”
“My agent wanted me to have a second Pro Day with just the top-10 teams. 2 days before, I wake up that morning and like all the pain is down my leg and it’s crazy again. I called my agent and I’m like ‘I can’t get out of bed, bro!'”
“So I end up laying on the table during my second pro day. And all the top-10 teams had their doctors there, and they’re just evaluating me. The guy from the Clippers was the head doctor. And he’s the one that wrote the report ‘He’s probably never gonna play again.'”
MPJ, however, expressly denies having any animosity with the Clippers as a franchise for their draft decision. In his mind, he was himself doubting his ability to return and play basketball.
Ultimately, the Denver Nuggets should be given huge props for betting on his talent and banking on their medical team.