No.2 Overall Recruit, Michael Porter Jr, Declares For The 2018 NBA Draft
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No.2 Overall Recruit, Michael Porter Jr, Declares For The 2018 NBA Draft

Missouri Freshman Enters Draft after Injury-plagued season

No.2 Overall Recruit, Michael Porter Jr, Declares For The 2018 NBA Draft

Despite being sidelined for most of last season with a back injury, Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr has declared for the 2018 NBA draft and will sign with an agent, giving him no option to return the school. The 6’10 forward announced his decision on Instagram Monday night.

Porter was the No.2 overall recruit in the class of 2017 and came into Missouri with high expectations. Originally committed to the University of Washington, he verbally committed to Missouri after the rest of his siblings signed there. However, just 2 minutes into his season, he suffered a back injury that required surgery, causing him to miss much of the regular season.

In total, he logged 54 minutes, putting up an average 10 points and 6.6 rebounds but Porter Jr’s upside as an offensive threat remains. Before the injury, many picked MPJ as the #1 draft pick in 2018 but now, he has fallen to as low as the 6th or the 7th pick, still in the lottery, according to CBS Sports.

Porter joins highly touted Oklahoma point guard Trae Young and impressive Arizona big man DeAndre Ayton as many one-and-done freshmen hoping to be top picks in the 2018 NBA Draft in June. With the 2017-18 campaign approaching its closing date, draft positions are clearing up.

Now, let's run through my first-round lottery mock draft using the latest selection order and pinpoint my top player on the board.

2018 NBA Mock Draft

1. Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Luka Doncic, SG/SF, Slovenia

3. Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Michigan State

4. Dallas Mavericks: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

5. Orlando Magic: Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Duke

6. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Brooklyn Nets): Michael Porter Jr., SF/PF, Missouri

7. Sacramento Kings: Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova

8. Chicago Bulls: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

9. New York Knicks: Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke

10. Philadelphia 76ers : Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State

As deep as this draft is, Arizona big man DeAndre Ayton rises above the rest. His frame and physical prowess have been likened to legends like Shaquille o Neal and David Robinson. Standing over 250 pounds and harnessing a 7’6” wingspan, Ayton’s dominance at Arizona cannot be ignored.

His scoring skillset and his potential for growth as a passer and outside shooter have many teams salivating. If Phoenix can acquire the top pick, this is a no-brainer. Their glaring lack of a big man along with the backcourt of Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis could prove to be deadly in the future.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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