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Kings Lead Draft Profile #1: Michael Porter Jr.

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With no first round draft pick in 2019, it’s absolutely imperative that the Sacramento Kings nail their choice in the upcoming NBA Draft. They have several options to consider and several players to evaluate. This pick could determine whether the Kings can contend in the coming years, or be relegated to mediocrity for the next decade.

One player on the table is Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri. A 19-year-old forward who has repeatedly been touted as one of the top prospects in this year’s class. He was tipped to cement his status as a top lottery pick with a season at Mizzou, before a back injury derailed his season before it really started. He returned for two games later in the year, but did not look like the same player from high school.

STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES

Porter is known for being a scorer and using his athleticism to create plays and opportunities for himself and his teammates. However, he is on the thin size for someone of his size and may need to bulk up to thrive in the league. Rebounding is another strength which could help a team with a struggling post game like the Kings. However, there is a very small sample size of college games for us to know for certain.

FIT WITH THE KINGS

Porter fills an immediate need for Sacramento at the small forward position, giving Justin Jackson competition for starting minutes. He’s another young player on a favorable contract, giving the Kings financial flexibility down the road. He will also give De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic another option in transition, an area where the team thrives. He can also add rebounds, an area where the Kings desperately need to improve.

WHY IT’S RISKY

The biggest worry here is durability. NBA players can be affected for the rest of their careers from small injuries, let alone back surgery. Also Porter initially cancelled his second scheduled workout due to “hip spasms”. Porter’s team say he is good to go but the Kings really have to do their homework. They already took a flyer on Harry Giles last year and had him sit out the entire season. They need to get someone who can contribute now and continue to contribute over the course of a long season.

VERDICT

While it’s easy to see why the Kings are interested in Porter Jr., there are just too many question marks and risks to validate taking him at number 2. If the Kings didn’t move up and picked around 6-8, I could be excited about him as a prospect. Unless the Kings can trade down and get more assets (a 2019 1st rounder for instance), Sacramento needs to take someone who they know can contribute now and years down the road.

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About Mack Ervin III

Mack is a Journalism student at American River College and an avid sports lover. Follow me on Twitter @FlashRod4 #SacramentoProud

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