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Michael Porter Jr. is about to be drafted, but where will he fit best?

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Taking a look at the lottery teams to find the best fit for MPJ.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Missouri vs Georgia Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

We’re on the eve of the draft and the air is thick with the smoke of front office rumors. Teams are scrambling to find a way to mask their wants and needs in order to slide their way into the best deal and the prospect they want. It’s a lovely annual tradition.

Meanwhile, prospects like Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. are doing what they can to remain calm and try to figure out where they’ll be making their home over the next several years.

Let’s take a look at each of the top 12 picks and seeing who might actually be the best fit for the enigmatic forward?

Phoenix Suns - 1st overall pick

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Devin Booker - guard, Josh Jackson - forward

Needs: point guard, post players, shooting

Fit: The Suns need a lot, which is why they’re drafting at the very top of the lottery. The Suns won only 21 games last year but seem to have some solid building blocks with Devin Booker and Josh Jackson in place. As a team they only shot 33.4% from 3-point range and a 49.5% eFG which isn’t good. Michael Porter Jr. would be a good fit if the Suns are looking to trade out of the top spot because he brings shooting and size, two things the Suns desperately need.

Likelihood: It’s not very likely because everyone seems to think the Suns are going to take Deandre Ayton. Ayton makes a lot of sense for the Suns also. He doesn’t fix their shooting woes but he does provide an anchor in the middle of the defense for years to come, and any potential offensive growth could turn Ayton into an All NBA level post.

Sacramento Kings - 2nd overall pick

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: De’Aron Fox - guard, Willie Cauley-Stein - forward, Skal Labissiere - forward

Needs: Shooting guards, scoring

Fit: The Kings haven’t made the playoffs in more than 10 years. They’ve been through eight different coaches, and are looking for some kind of direction. What they really need is a dude, and that is why they are strongly considering taking a flier on the medical history of Porter because of what he could be if things fall into place. Porter is one of the few players in the draft capable of being a transcendent player, and the Kings might be willing to take the gamble despite the red flags which appear to be sending so many other teams fleeing.

Likelihood: While this move wouldn’t surprise me, I tend to think if Porter ends up in Sacramento it’s because the Kings traded down to take him. While the Kings have a lot of forwards already, Marvin Bagley and his likely 20 and 10 over the next 5-8 years would be hard to pass up for a franchise that could use a few more blocks to build upon. What they should do however is take Luka Dončić.

Atlanta Hawks - 3rd overall pick

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Denis Schroder - guard, John Collins - forward

Needs: Combo forward, Combo guard, Wing

Fit: The Hawks went from 60 wins to 24 wins is just two offseasons as their top five players all left via free agency or trade. Just Schroder and Kent Bazemore survived the purge from four seasons ago. The Hawks need production and someone to give Schroder hope the franchise is heading in the right direction. It’s because of this I think MPJ to the Hawks is too big of a risk for them to take, especially with either Dončić or Bagley still on the board. If Porter were a little more of a sure thing I think they could take him here but there’s just too much risk over a much safer play in store.

Likelihood: If I’m Atlanta, I would pinpoint Dončić as my guy because I think you have be a bigger threat with Schroder, Bazemore and Dončić on the perimeter with the way the game is changing. Bagley can make sense here but if they go with Jaren Jackson I’ll have some questions.

Memphis Grizzlies - 4th overall pick

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Mike Conley - guard, Marc Gasol - forward

Needs: Wings, Posts

Fit: When healthy, Conley is an All-star level guard, and Gasol is the same at forward. Gasol is a little long in the tooth but the Grizzlies have enough on the roster they can compete next year. Dillon Brooks could round into shape as a legit starter, but really the Grizzlies need to figure out what they are. I honestly think Porter might be a good fit here. For the rumors about him being a little bit of a prima donna or not a great teammate or whatever, you pair him up with experience like Gasol and Conley and you could potentially unearth a star. And both Conley and Gasol aren’t very youthful anymore, so you can be picking a potential star to bring up and eventually take over.

Likelihood: While I think this is the first really good landing spot for MPJ, I ultimately think the Grizzlies are going to look elsewhere. If Ayton, Bagley and Dončić are off the board, the right pick might be Mohamed Bamba who is a defensive wizard right now and is improving offensively by the minute.

Dallas Mavericks - 5th overall pick

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Dennis Smith Jr - guard, Harrison Barnes - forward

Needs: Posts, Interior defense, Off the ball shooting

Fit: If there’s a franchise that might be more than willing to throw caution to the wind and jump on a talent like Michael Porter Jr. it might be Dallas. Mavs owner Mark Cuban is notorious for being less cautious in a lot of ways. The Mavs have been pegged as taking Bagley and Bamba though neither provides them the outside scoring that Porter does. The risk is the Mavs have quickly turned into a young team with Smith leading the charge and Dirk Nowitzki likely on his farewell tour this season. Porter could roll into the four spot and play alongside Nowitzki, basically taking over his role in his first season.

Likelihood: Taking on a talent like Porter might make sense, but they seem to be leaning towards a safer selection like Bamba. I think Bagley is off the board by now.

Orlando Magic - 6th overall pick

NBA: Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Aaron Gordon - forward, Evan Fournier - guard,

Needs: lead guard, post play

Fit: Jonathan Givony, of DraftExpress and ESPN, has MPJ picked here to Orlando. And I honestly do not like this fit. I think Porter would excel on a team with strong veteran leadership and if you look at the Magic roster they have a lot of youth. They also have a lot of combo forwards starting with Gordon, and Jonathan Isaac who is a recent one-and-done out of Florida State. Orlando is going to keep this up and end up with a bunch of really tall guys and nobody to get them the ball. Its for this reason I think the Magic should go with a guard. Someone like Trae Young provides a lot of risk but he gives Orlando an exciting young lead guard who is as good at making his teammates better as he is taking 30-footers. And that’s fun.

Likelihood: There’s a decent chance MPJ lands in the 6th spot because, frankly, you’re starting to get into the area where the risk can outweigh the reward. The drop-off after the first three players is there, but going from the talent MPJ can be to ending up with a player just as risky as Young could be enough to sway a team like Orlando or a few teams behind them to jump into the 6th spot if MPJ is still sitting there.


We’ll come back tomorrow and touch on teams 7-12 and even include a PREDICTION!

My predictions for the first six picks:

  1. DeAndre Ayton
  2. Marvin Bagley
  3. Luka Dončić
  4. Jaren Jackson
  5. Mohamed Bamba
  6. Michael Porter Jr.

How I think they should draft the first six picks:

  1. DeAndre Ayton
  2. Marvin Bagley
  3. Luka Dončić
  4. Michael Porter Jr.
  5. Mohamed Bamba
  6. Trae Young