Missouri commit Michael Porter Jr. was the consensus top recruit in the nation last year and is predicted to be a top 3 pick in next year’s NBA draft. Between now and next June, every aspect of his game is going to be scrutinized by both amateur and professional scouts.
We’ve already seen one breakdown call Michael Porter Jr. “the next NBA star”.
On Wednesday, the website RealGM, a hub for NBA enthusiasts and a site that actual NBA general managers and coaches have been known to peruse, published a scouting report on Michael Porter Jr., and it’s safe to say the scout pulled no punches analyzing both his offensive and defensive abilities.
The author, Rafael Uehara, takes a look at the way Porter was used by Seattle’s Nathan Hale high school team, which went 29-0 and won a state championship under former NBA player Brandon Roy.
A few choice excerpts about his offense:
“Porter doesn't have an explosive first step to just blow by his man...”
“His handle is only OK...”
“...he isn't yet strong enough to finish through contact consistently...”
“His go-to asset at this point of his development is his pull-up jumper...”
“Porter doesn't play with enough physicality to secure a deep seal consistently...”
And a few about Porter’s defense:
“...he was mostly disappointing acting as the last line of defense...”
“Porter was easily distracted when put in the pick-and-roll...”
“He wasn't consistently attentive to his boxout responsibilities...”
“He didn't play with that much tenacity at Nathan Hale but impressed with his agility even at half-speed.”
Very few high school players are polished and fully developed physically at the age of 19. Much of this analysis could be applied to any other player coming into college who needs to be in a full-time strength and training program.
Luckily for MPJ and fans with sky-high expectations, head coach Cuonzo Martin has Nicodemus Christopher, who has brought a new toughness to the Tiger training room.
As to the offensive development, Sam Snelling broke down the ways Cuonzo Martin and offensive assistant Cornell Mann will look to implement an “NBA-style offense” at Missouri. Taking advantage of MPJ’s natural strengths and the way he will inevitably open up the floor for others on his team is pivotal to emphasizing his talent.
And while he may be the focal point of the Tigers’ offense, under the guidance of Martin and assistant coach/father Michael Porter Sr., his defensive effort will likely be maximized. I just wouldn’t expect him to bang down low in the post for most games.
By my reading, the RealGM breakdown on Michael Porter Jr. isn’t overly critical. It recognizes his solid shooting mechanics and explosive jump, how effective a passer he can be, and how dangerous he is in transition and notes that he’s clearly a perimeter wing defender despite his size.
If anything this is an honest assessment and provides a realistic guide for what to expect come this November and how truly high the ceiling is for this young phenom.