In NY Post's latest NBA mock draft, the Knicks get lucky: talented Missouri F Michael Porter Jr. falls to them at no. 9, where Scott Perry and Steve Mills can't pass up the potential.
Before the collegiate season began, Porter Jr. was expected to be a top pick in this year's draft but the one-and-done star didn't get a chance to shine at Missouri due to a back injury limiting him to a total of just three games.
In 17.7 minutes per game, Porter Jr. averaged 10.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in those three games. He was the no. 2 prospect in his recruiting class, behind Duke's Marvin Bagley III, but picked up an injury that would require back surgery after just two minutes into his collegiate debut. He worked hard to return for the SEC Tournament.
The injury concerns could conceivably cause Porter Jr. to fall to the Knicks, though an NBA executive told SNY contributor Adam Zagoria that he doesn't believe Porter Jr. will be available when the Knicks are on the clock.
"I think the injury will cause some teams in the Top 8 of the lottery to pass on him but not all of them to the point that he slips out of the Top 8," the executive said. "I do not think he slips to 9."
Porter Jr. isn't short on confidence, though, and would have a chip on his shoulder if he falls to no. 9.
"I'm the best player in this draft," Porter Jr. told reporters at the Combine. "Everyone will realize that soon."
The Knicks will be on the clock on Thursday night, as the NBA Draft begins at 7 p.m.