As expected, Michael Porter Jr. declares for draft despite injury-plagued season

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Back in the fall, when most college hoops fans were more focused on their college’s football team, Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. was a guy who had the potential to play his way into the No. 1 pick.

Then came the spinal surgery — a red flag for anyone, but particularly a 6’10 mobile big. That sidelined Porter for all but 25 minutes of the regular season, then in his once NCAA Tournament he came off the bench to shoot 4-of-12 on his way to 16 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes in a game where he looked winded at the end.

Nobody expected any of that would keep him out of the NBA Draft, and as expected he will jump into the pool with both feet, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Porter’s stock has fallen since before the injury, but he’s still a lock top 10 pick, maybe top five if he can convince some teams he is healthy.

Porter is long on potential — he is an offensive playmaker who can create his own shot and just knows how to get buckets. He’s also seen as a likely plus defender.

As the draft gets closer athletic big men tend to climb the board — Porter may well do that, depending upon his workouts. With his potential, every team that lands a top 10 draft pick will want to work him out, it will be interesting to see where his agent allows him to go and make his case on the court.