Even though the Orlando Magic landed outside the top five in the NBA Draft Lottery, they may find a potential star in Michael Porter, if he can stay healthy.
Michael Porter Jr. arrived to the Missouri Tigers with NBA aspirations. He was the second-ranked recruit in ESPN’s recruiting database and looked to use one strong season with the Tigers to propel him to become a top-five pick in the NBA Draft.
Unfortunately, Porter underwent spinal surgery after playing for just two minutes in the season opener. He would not return until the SEC Tournament, and even then it was clear he was not 100 percent healthy.
Although he played in Missouri’s final games, many are unsure about Porter’s long-term health.
This has seen his Draft stock take a significant hit. Porter was in the conversation prior to the season as a top pick, now many pundits are unsure if he will be a top-10 selection come Draft night. ESPN’s Mock Draft show had him slipping out of the Lottery.
Yet Porter has superstar potential. A 6-foot-10 forward with an outside shot seems to be the prototype for a modern NBA star.
The Orlando Magic sit with the sixth pick and will likely have the chance to select Porter. He would be an interesting fit for Orlando. Another athletic wing who would jumpstart the Magic’s starting lineup into the modern NBA.
But Porter could also send the Magic back down a dark path. If he cannot stay healthy or has nagging back issues, it could cause Orlando to start another rebuild. It could also be a repeat of Anfernee Hardaway and Grant Hill with their history of injuries. Magic fans can almost feel success, but it is suddenly dashed by injury.
The Magic will have to weigh the boom-or-bust potential when it comes to Porter on Draft night.