It looked like we could have a beef starting between two rookies — Luka Doncic and Michael Porter Jr. Two players both with the potential to star in the NBA but both with questions about if they will be able to fulfill that promise.
Everything started when Porter liked an Instagram post saying Doncic — the EuroLeague MVP last season at age 19 — was “overrated.” Doncic’s former Real Madrid teammate Dino Radoncic stuck up for Doncic:
In an interview with ESPN’s Chris Forsberg, Porter said this all started with an accident and he reached out to Doncic to calm things down.
“So what’s crazy is that blew up,” Porter said. “Believe it or not, I’m scrolling through [a post about] the Rookie of the Year odds and I accidentally like a comment. This is the EuroLeague MVP and I got nothing but respect for him. I was like, ‘Man, I didn’t want to come off like that.’
“I reached out to [Doncic], told him it was 100 percent accident and I told him, ‘I can’t wait to see what you do in the league.’ I wasn’t worried about what fans thought, but I wanted to let him know instantly. It was 100 percent accident.”
Was it really? Decide for yourself, I’ll take the rookie at his word (even if some of the reports out of Missouri that scared teams off at the draft was about Porter’s ego and need to be a focal point).
Porter had back surgery this offseason and likely will miss the start of the coming season, and maybe more as the Nuggets have a playoff-level team in the West and will be looking to win games, not spend a lot of minutes easing Porter back in and developing him slowly. Because of his injury, Porter is a project, but one with a potentially huge payoff for the Nuggets. Porter fell surprisingly far in the draft and the Nuggets nabbing him at 14 could end up being a steal for them.
Doncic likely will be starting for Dallas opening night, feeding the ball to Dirk Nowitzki at the elbow, throwing lobs to a rolling DeAndre Jordan, and working with backcourt partner Dennis Smith Jr. to make the Mavericks dangerous. If he fulfills his potential, Dallas will have the next cornerstone for the franchise (and the Hawks are never going to hear the end of it after trading his rights away for Trae Young).