Heading into October, Missouri post Jontay Porter was shaping into a potential lottery pick in the NBA draft. His older brother, Michael Porter Jr., slipped to the very end of the lottery last year thanks to a back injury. The question became which Porter would get drafted higher, as Jontay was going to be a focal point of MU’s offense in his sophomore season.
Then came a torn ACL in a closed scrimmage, followed by a second tear this sprint — a re-injury that made evaluating Jontay’s stock a challenge. By and large, mock drafts pegged him as a reasonable, low-risk buy in the middle of the second round. Unfortunately, those forecasts proved inaccurate.
I popped Jontay Porter in my final mock mostly out of hope that someone would take a shot. But the feedback I got from teams was that he was unlikely to be picked because of the obvious: concerns about his medicals.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 21, 2019
Top undrafted prospects (ESPN Top-100): Lu Dort, Terence Davis, Jontay Porter, DaQuan Jeffries, Zylan Cheatham, Shamorie Ponds, Jalen Lecque, Naz Reid, Lou King, Yovel Zoosman, Jaylen Hoard, Justin Robinson, Justin Harper, Dedric Lawson, Zach Norvell, Josh Obiesie, John Konchar— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 21, 2019
Best available UDFAs:— Ben Pfeifer (@Ben_Pfeifer_) June 21, 2019
5 Jontay Porter
22 Yovel Zoosman
24 Terence Davis
28 DaQuan Jeffries
32 Charles Matthews
33 Shamorie Ponds
35 John Konchar
39 Josh Reaves
47 Justin Robinson
50 Juwan Morgan
51 Dean Wade
55 Lu Dort
57 Jalen Lecque
Very strong UDFA class.
Dean Wade, Barry Brown, Dedric Lawson and Jontay Porter are all dudes I enjoyed covering/interviewing and hope get a chance in the NBA. Not always the worst thing to go undrafted. Get to pick your landing spot.— CJ Moore (@CJMooreHoops) June 21, 2019
On Thursday, Jontay tumbled entirely out of the NBA draft. More than likely, his chance will come through inking a deal as an undrafted free agent. While that would grant Porter flexibility to pick his destination, he’ll need a franchise with a top-flight medical staff, patience to wait out his rehab and a proven player-development program to tap into lottery-level talent.
An obvious fit would have been his older brother’s squad: the Denver Nuggets. He’s been around the franchise during his rehab process in Colorado, and they have a fixture at the five with Nikola Jokić — lessening the need for Jontay to speed back into action.
He’s also long been rumored to be a favorite of the San Antonio Spurs. And during the buildup to the draft, the Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, and Sacramento Kings were all linked to Jontay as well.
We’ll keep a close eye and have some analysis wherever he lands.