NEW YORK -- Michael Porter Jr. hasn't worked out for any NBA teams because of his back and hip ailments, but met with Knicks brass in Chicago and said they are intrigued by his talent.
"They were there and I talked to them for a brief moment after the workout," Porter Jr. told SNY.tv at NBA Draft media day on Wednesday in midtown Manhattan.
"They like me, obviously," the 6-foot-10 Porter added. "I think they were looking to maybe move up. Honestly, they just showed interest in me, but I don't know too [many] details."
SNY.tv first reported that Knicks President Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry were initially slated to attend Porter's second pro day in Chicago. Porter woke up with hip spasms that week, but said he's fine now. He called the attention to his medical records "frustrating" and said the hip spasms were just an "episode."
It seems unlikely that Porter will be around when the Knicks pick at No. 9 in Thursday's NBA Draft -- unless they trade up.
The latest ESPN.com mock draft has Porter going No. 7 to the Chicago Bulls, with the Knicks taking Kentucky forward Kevin Knox at No. 9.
"I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up in [the] top five, I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't," Porter said Wednesday. "If I get drafted 15th, it's going to be best in my life. I'm not too concerned about that."
The Knicks and other teams evaluated Porter's medicals, a league source said, and his stock is now back on the rise.
"Porter came into the season with hopes of making a run at being the No. 1 pick in the draft. However, he wasn't able to build his case because of a back injury. Porter's size, skill and scoring instincts nevertheless make him a coveted prospect. He is a playmaker on both ends of the floor and is just starting to figure out how to put his talent to full use."
Porter missed most of his only season at Missouri after having microdiscectomy surgery of the L3-L4 spinal discs in November, but he could turn out to be one of the best pros in this Draft.
Porter was a phenomenal scorer in high school, winning the prestigious Peach Jam title in the summer of 2016 with teammate Trae Young, a fellow projected Top 10 pick who has also worked out for the Knicks. Their Mokan Elite team beat a PSA Cardinals team that featured fellow projected lottery pick Mohamed Bamba of Harlem.
Porter said several teams discussed with him the idea of taking some time off to start the season. "There are a couple teams that I've talked to that said, 'Mike, would you be open to taking a couple months off, getting all the way perfect?' What they did with Harry Giles," he said. "It all depends what team I go to."
Asked if he would consider sitting out the entire 2018-19 season, he said, "I wouldn't want to but like I said, when you get to the NBA, it's a business and it could be up to the team I get drafted by."
Porter said he's learned a lot in recent weeks about who his true friends are because some people jumped off the bandwagon due to his injury and questions about his future.
"It's tough," he said. "It really shows who cares for you and who was just there for the ride all along. Some people are starting to hop back on now that weren't there for a while so that's tough seeing that but it's part of life. But it was good for me to grow through that because I grew as a person I think."
His former high school coach, former NBA player Brandon Roy, has been a great touchstone and role model for him through the process.
"We talk almost every day," Porter said of Roy. "I think he'll be here [Thursday]. That's my guy and one of the most down-to-Earth dudes I know, so I feel blessed to be able to know him."
As for potentially joining the Knicks, he said he would love it.
"It would be dope," he said. "I mean, it's a legendary stadium [Madison Square Garden]. I think it would be amazing. The fans, I met them. They got love for me down here so I think it would be cool."