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If the back injury causes MPJ to tumble, he could land with one of these teams

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Looking at picks 6-12 for teams who might pick up a potential All Star if he’s healthy.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Nashville Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Draft day is today!

Yesterday we covered the first six picks in the draft and whether the Missouri Tigers forward, Michael Porter Jr. would be a good fit with any of them.

Right now I think he’s going to land in the top six, but if something happens (like franchises get scared of his back issues) its easy to see Michael tumble into the bottom half of the lottery.

Chicago Bulls - 7th overall pick

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Lauri Markkanen - forward, Zach LaVine - guard

Needs: playmaking guard, physical post

Fit: Multiple mock drafts have the Bulls as the landing spot for Michael Porter Jr. and in some ways it makes sense. The Bulls have struggled in the post-Jimmy Butler era, and there just isn’t a whole lot of workable parts on the roster. They have Kris Dunn at point, and he’s mostly just been ok. LaVine is an elite athlete who has struggled to stay healthy. Why I’m not a big fan of this landing spot for Porter is he isn’t in a landing spot with a stodgy vet, and he’s also likely be lining up with Markkanen. Porter and Markkanen would create for an outstanding pair of shooters but somebody is going to have to rebound the ball and protect the rim and you don’t get that with either. On the plus side, Porter wouldn’t be expected to get the Bulls back into the playoffs right away, and he’s already familiar with the Hoiberg offense from this past year.

Likelihood: Even though it’s not the move I would make I think this might be the most likely landing spot for Porter. Chicago is close to home, so it would be easy for a close knit family to get up for a bunch of games. And the best case scenario for MPJ provides the kind of attractive scoring forward the team needs. If Trae Young is available he would make a lot of sense, so would Wendell Carter, who would provide a more physical presence down low to go with Markkanen.

Cleveland Cavaliers - 8th overall pick

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers pool photo-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: maybe LeBron James - GOAT, Kevin Love - forward

Needs: floor spacing shooters

Fit: This would depend on if LeBron stays or leaves. If LeBron stays, I like the fit for MPJ a lot. He’s a guy who can shoot the ball and provide a kick out receiver from one of the two best players in the history of the game. LeBron is not easy to play with, but I think Porter is the kind of player who would be up for the task. If LeBron leaves Cleveland then I’d be very hesitant for the Cavs to draft a potential injury risk.

Likelihood: I don’t know of many who think Porter winds up in Cleveland. But if he’s available it might be too hard for the Cavs to pass up. If Porter isn’t there, a playmaking guard would make some sense. Young if he’s still there, or maybe Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Collin Sexton. I can see Carter slipping to the 8th pick, but Cleveland has so much more to worry about with the possibility of losing LeBron. Are they picking for a complementary piece or are they trying to find their next star?

New York Knicks - 9th overall pick

NBA: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Kristaps Porzingis - forward, Tim Hardaway - guard

Needs: new ownership, a playmaking point guard

Fit: Until James Dolan sells the Knicks, it’s going to be hard from anyone to think the franchise is headed in the right direction. Kristaps is a star, and as exciting of a player as there is in the NBA and Hardaway has proven to be a useful piece, but the Knicks need more players. I like the team fit for Michael here better than a team like the Bulls because Porzingis is a certified star in the making, where Markkanen is more of a very nice piece. Sam Vecenie has the Knicks taking Kevin Knox here, and Knox is like a slightly less good version of Porter, so it would make sense if Porter were available they would consider him.

Likelihood: Recent rumors have the Knicks looking to move up to take Mohamed Bamba. It would be a little bit weird for them to basically ignore their back court when someone like Collin Sexton or Young could be available. I don’t think Porter makes it to the 9th pick, but if he does the Knicks could shop the pick to a team looking to pick up Porter late and maybe get a guy on the wing who can help them sooner. If I’m the Knicks I’d try to move up a little to ensure Young or maybe down a few spots and grab Sexton. But they’re the Knicks so they probably won’t.

Philadelphia 76sers - 10th overall pick

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Ben Simmons - forward, Joel Embiid - post, Markel Fultz - guard

Needs: not much, but ready made role players, shooters

Fit: I can’t imagine a scenario where Porter ends up in Philadelphia. Their starting five is mostly set and what they need is someone who can defend, shoot, and play 82 games. Porter is only likely to do one of those things next season. A frontline of Embiid, Simmons and Porter would certainly be interesting but it makes more sense for the 76ers to draft for need rather than a best player available pick.

Likelihood: Low. Every thing seems to point to Philly drafting Mikal Bridges here. And while nobody expects Bridges to be a star at the next level, the Sixers have two who already are stars and one who could be on his way. They need a guy like Bridges who can knock down shots and play defense and be a complimentary piece.

Charlotte Hornets - 11th overall pick

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Orlando Magic Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: Kemba Walker - guard, Frank Kaminsky - forward

Needs: Ball handling guard, scoring wing

Fit: If Porter is available it might make a lot of sense for the Hornets to take a flier on him. They’ve got some young guys who could work out over time like Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon on the wing. Kaminsky has proven to be solid on the inside but no world beater, so a scoring forward could improve the lineup in Charlotte by leaps and bounds. With that said, style of play and culture in Charlotte are a little all over the map and I think Porter would thrive in a little bit more stable environment.

Likelihood: Walker has been rumored to be potentially on the move and the Hornets are said to be looking for a ball handler. So Sexton or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would make the most sense for what the Hornets are trying to do. What that is completely I’m not quite sure.

Los Angeles Clippers - 12th overall pick

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Building blocks: I dunno, I don’t like this roster very much

Needs: A new direction

Fit: Honestly Porter in Los Angeles with a couple solid vets around him wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. And the Clippers have multiple pics at 12 & 13 and could look into moving up and getting one elite player versus a couple role guys. If they’re interested in Porter he could do well there. He could provide scoring and some excitement to a franchise that might be a little down since losing Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the last season.

Likelihood: Rumors have the Clips rather infatuated with both Lonnie Walker and Robert Williams, two guys who I think would do a good job of supplementing their roster with some good young players with high ceilings. While it might make some sense for them to move up into the upper part of the lottery and garner some headlines, getting a couple guys like Walker and Williams isn’t a bad move for a franchise in flux.


My predictions for the first 12 picks:

  1. DeAndre Ayton
  2. Marvin Bagley
  3. Luka Dončić
  4. Jaren Jackson
  5. Mohamed Bamba
  6. Michael Porter Jr.
  7. Wendell Carter
  8. Trae Young
  9. Kevin Knox
  10. Mikal Bridges
  11. Collin Sexton
  12. Robert Williams

How I think they should draft the first 12 picks:

  1. DeAndre Ayton
  2. Marvin Bagley
  3. Luka Dončić
  4. Michael Porter Jr.
  5. Mohamed Bamba
  6. Trae Young
  7. Jaren Jackson
  8. Wendell Carter
  9. Trae Young
  10. Mikal Bridges
  11. Shai Gilgeous Alexander
  12. Collin Sexton