Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. has impressed enough of Michael Malone that he’d be surprised if he’s not part of the rotation
The Denver Nuggets’ biggest offseason addition might not be someone they drafted, signed, or traded for this summer. It could be their 2018 lottery selection Michael Porter Jr.
According to Porter Jr., the 21-year-old Missouri product, he’d be “surprised” if he didn’t crack Nuggets head coach Mike Malone’s rotation this upcoming season, per Harrison Wind of BSN Denver.
Porter was selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft by Denver after perceptively dropping in the order due to injury concerns. The 6-foot-10 forward had surgery on his back and spent what would be his rookie season sidelined rehabilitating the ailment.
Now, by the time the season starts in the fall, the Nuggets could be getting back Porter while maintaining the core members of their team and minimizing roster turnover. The only mid-major changes for Denver this offseason were the loss of Trey Lyles and the addition of forward Jerami Grant via a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder (the Nuggets are sending their 2020 first-round pick).
A positive diagnosis from physicians giving Porter a clean bill of health could be the most important summertime addition, however. Porter averaged 10 points and 6.7 rebounds in only three games in his one-and-done season with the Missouri Tigers in the SEC in 2017-18.
He’ll have to nudge out a few other players to make the rotation, though, including Grant and stretch four Juancho Hernangómez.
The Nuggets also drafted project center Bol Bol in the second round of the 2019 draft after the Oregon similarly fell in the order like Porter, albeit not the same extend as Manute’s son.