Following a sophomore who returned to school to hone his skills at 15, number 16 on the draft board goes to a freshman with plenty of athleticism but just as many lingering questions about whether he can translate into success at the next level.
The youthful 19 year old from USC put together a solid freshman year for O.J. Mayo’s proud alma mater. Mayo may not be a horrific name to invoke here either, with Porter looking like a guard with potential to score on several levels of the court. He shot 41.2% from deep, albeit on only 68 3-point attempts, but chucked a ghastly 52.2% from the free throw line on 46 free throw attempts. Playing in just 21 games his freshman year certainly didn’t give scouts the complete picture on this guy. And I am no scout, so my picture’s about as blurry as a Paul Pierce T9 Emoji text.
That being said, this guy clearly comes with some pedigree. He was the 28th ranked prospect in the 2018 class (per RSCI), with a 6.5” frame and 6’9” wingspan that makes for a prototypical wing in today’s NBA. The Ringer compares him to J.R. Smith (sounds okay!) and James Young (Not so okay!). Former Herd standout aside, his length would seem to illustrate an athlete capable of switching across several positions and playing up a size or two if needed. For a comparison point, Malcolm Brogdon is essentially the same height as Porter with a 2” longer wingspan, ideal for his crafty finishes around the rim. Whether he could be a guy that’s capable of penetrating the defense for shots around the rim is probably an open question considering his ball handling is considered iffy at this point of his development.
Based on the tape (aka the few YT vids I watched), his jumper does look a little ugly at this point though. His release looks quite mechanical with a straightline shot to boot. That could easily get blocked in the big leagues, although he has some decent lift to start. Speaking of lift, he does a fine job of testing the rim’s durability with some of his slams through little resistance. I’m curious to see if that finishing athleticism translates to the next level.
His stepback jumper is apparently his best quality at this point. Hey, I like guys who can get to their own signature shot at any point within a possession! There are plenty of question marks beyond whether that shot can go in consistently though. He missed part of the season with an upper leg injury, and more questions linger about his maturity. USC suspended him indefinitely for a period too. I bet every front office believes that those issues could be rectified with a little insulation and a little loving from their attentive coaches.
As such, I doubt that means many squads would want to pass on the possibility to get a halfcourt shot-creator this deep in the draft process. Were he to fall, it might behoove Milwaukee to take a shot on a guy with relative upside left untapped, despite the rough head on his shoulders. His iffy shooting may scare them off, but they likely trust their staff to groom any shooting stroke they spot throughout this process. In the end, I’d like him as a bench guy to groom behind Sterling Brown should Brown leave after his cheap contract concludes next season.
With Porter Jr. off the board, we turn to number 17. The voters liked the hometown-adjacent product, Tyler Herro, in the last poll, so perhaps he’ll be up next in Milwaukee’s former customary draft slot. Let’s see who wins out.
My pick for the #17 spot on the community draft board is...
This poll is closed
Romeo Langford - SG, Indiana
Nickeil Alexander-Walker - SG, Va. Tech
Cameron Johnson - PF, UNC
Grant Williams - PF, Tennessee
Tyler Herro - SG, Kentucky
Bol Bol - PF, Oregon
Brew Hoop Draft Board Rankings
- Zion Williamson - PF, Duke
- Ja Morant - PG, Murray State
- Jarrett Culver - SG, Texas Tech
- R.J. Barrett - SG, Duke
- Darius Garland - PG, Vanderbilt
- Coby White - SG, UNC
- De’Andre Hunter - SF, Virginia
- Cam Reddish - SF, Duke
- Sekou Doumbouya - PF, Limoges CSP, France
- Nassir Little - SF, UNC
- Jaxson Hayes - C, Texas
- Rui Hachimura - PF, Gonzaga
- Brandon Clarke - PF, Gonzaga
- Goga Bitadze - C, Mega Bemax, Adriatic Basketball Association
- P.J. Washington - PF, Kentucky
- Kevin Porter Jr. - SG, USC