Former Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. canceled his second pro day in front of NBA lottery teams on Friday because he couldn’t get out of bed with muscle spasms, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. That’s concerning for NBA teams just seven days before the draft, though his MRI results came back clean, according to Yahoo‘s Shams Charania.
Porter underwent a minimally invasive back surgery, a microdiscectomy of his L3-L4 spinal disks, back in November, where he missed all of his college basketball season minus the first two minutes of one game, and the Tigers’ last two games of the entire year. He looked like a shell of himself in his return.
According to Givony, there’s a chance he can reschedule the workouts but it depends how he responds to treatments. But he’s still likely to go high in Thursday’s draft.
Porter Jr. is one of the draft’s top talents
Porter was viewed by some as the best prospect in the draft before his injury, maybe even better than Deandre Ayton or Luka Doncic because of his endless possibilities as a near-7’ slasher. He can shoot, has bounce, and has proven himself as a scoring leaders on Team USA teams through his high school career.
That’s why despite the injury and missing nearly all of his college career, teams expect him to go in the high lottery. This blip is unlikely to change that.
Porter’s name has been trending upwards in recent days
Recent reports, including those from Givony, have indicated Porter is on the rise in the draft. Most recently, he’s said tPorter’s unlikely to fall out of the top seven in the draft, with the Kings at No. 2, Grizzlies at No. 4, and Mavericks at No. 5 showing interest.
There was skepticism initially with Porter not participating in the NBA Combine’s medical exams and his choosing to share information with certain teams, but it feels as if he’s still going to land in the upper portion of lottery, guaranteeing a lot of money for himself.
His injury is likely to dictate how his career trends, but if he’s able to overcome it, he could be an NBA All-Star and more.