May tends to be a very slow period for news.
Having not one but TWO former basketball players going through the NBA draft trials and tribulations bestows us the faculty to track a different news cycle.
Multiple league sources say Missouri big man Jontay Porter, the younger brother of Michael Porter, is leaning toward returning to school for his sophomore season. Porter is a skilled shooter and passer who needs to get in better shape to prove he can defend. He’s currently projected as a late-first- to mid-second-round pick. The 2019 draft class is weaker, so Jontay could rise into the lottery with a strong sophomore season.
It’s important to understand the NBA news cycle leading up to the draft.
You can’t trust the motives of sources.
On one hand this could be completely true. Mizzou still hasn’t filled it’s last scholarship for next season and they could certainly use a skilled and talented player like Jontay Porter back in the line up. But there is just one problem I have with this report, it would fly in the face of just about ALL the information we, here at Rock M Nation, and others in Mizzou media-land have uncovered since before Jontay Porter even declared.
If there’s one thing I’ve come to learn about recruiting and college football and basketball players it’s I never know anything 100%. When it comes to where Jontay Porter was going to play basketball next season I’ve long felt with 99% certainty it was not going to be at Missouri next season. So with as much certainty as I could muster I believed Porter was gone.
I don’t want to say I’m coming around, but I’m dropping my certainty to about 93.5% Jontay is gone. He still has a workout scheduled with Atlanta on the eve of the final deadline for returning to school.
So no matter what, this decision is going to last all the way up to the last hour and minute before we have confirmation.
But Jontay wasn’t the only Porter in the news, from the same article:
The Clippers are open to moving up in the draft, according to multiple league executives. They’re armed with picks nos. 12 and 13, and have the assets to get creative. A front-office exec said that Michael Porter Jr. is a possible target for the Clippers, who could slide the forward into their modernized system as a go-to scorer. Funnily enough, later that day, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer paused his own interview session with reporters to stand and listen behind a media scrum around Porter.
I’ve never seen an owner in the media area; the only other team owner that I’m aware was even at the combine is Golden State’s Joe Lacob. But Ballmer, a Seattle resident, is familiar with the former Nathan Hale High School product. “About my only real contribution [to the draft] is to say, ‘Hey, I saw some high school kid in Seattle and he looked really good.’ And it turns out it’s probably a kid who will be the no. 1 or no. 2 pick,” Ballmer said on The Bill Simmons Podcast in March 2017. “[Porter] plays in the same league as my son, so I have watched him play a few times. … And they say, ‘Thank you very much for your scouting. Go back to that mathy stuff.’”
The Clippers angle is a really interesting one. They can afford some of the risk applied with the huge potential upside of MPJ. Porter has a real opportunity to be a superstar if his health permits. But there aren’t a lot of teams at the top of the draft who can afford to pull the trigger on such a risk, even if they’re forgoing a potential all-star.
Yesterday at Rock M
- Matt’s done a great job tracking Mizzou recruits and their statistics through OpenLook Analytics.
Last week, I tweeted out some advanced stat lines for #Mizzou recruiting targets. Over the weekend, @OLAnalytics sent over Excel data, allowing me to compile a list in one spot. Here's how some 2019 and 2020 recruits are faring on their respective circuits. pic.twitter.com/G0ejD7rEeI— Matt Harris (@MattJHarris85) May 21, 2018
- Jordan Barnett apparently “wowed” in his workout with the Los Angeles Lakers. Barnett isn’t likely to land with a draft selection but with his size and athleticism and shooting 40% from three with deep range Barnett will find suitors for the summer league with hopes of catching on in the G league.
- Mizzou Baseball opens SEC Conference Tournament play today after squeaking in over the weekend against Tennessee. They take on South Carolina, the 5 seed.
- OH NO! He was doing so well!
Kansas has fired Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger.— Tom Martin (@TomKCTV5) May 21, 2018