In a move which has been anticipated for weeks, Missouri freshman forward Jontay Porter has declared for the NBA draft. Porter also stated he will not be hiring an agent.
Like most freshmen, Porter had an up-and-down freshman year, posting season averages of 9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. He was a talismanic presence for the Tigers — Mizzou was 15-2 when he scored in double figures, but he was also held to six or fewer points on 13 occasions.
Porter seemed to really start to figure things out late with some terrific performances down the stretch. Over his last 12 games, he averaged over 13 points and 7 rebounds a game. His savvy with the ball and ability to keep the ball moving while playing mostly on the perimeter as a stretch 4-man created a dynamic element for the Missouri offense and a difficult matchup for opponents.
As Porter improved, so did his draft stock. NBA mock drafts have Porter going as high as 22 and as low as undrafted (perhaps because he hadn’t declared yet). But most of the trusted mocks seem to peg him in the late-first to early second-round range.
By not hiring an agent, Porter can get feedback from NBA scouts and executives and still be eligible to return should he elect to do so.
Here’s Missouri’s scholarship count if Porter indeed keeps his name in the draft.
Without Porter, Missouri would have three scholarships to fill and a lot of production to replace. The top three scorers off of this year’s NCAA tournament team would be gone, along with three of the top four 3-point shooters.
The deadline for an early entry to withdraw from the draft is May 30.