Michael Porter

Michael Porter

23-Year-Old ForwardF
Denver Nuggets
GTD
Injury Knee
Est. Return 10/20/2021
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Despite continued concerns about Porter's injury history -- specifically, his surgically repaired back -- he stayed mostly healthy last season and appeared in 61 of 72 regular-season games for the Nuggets. In a breakout campaign, the forward averaged 19.0 points on 54/45/79 shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.6 combined blocks-plus-steals. His impressive efficiency led to him posting the league's seventh-highest true-shooting percentage (66.3%). He had six 30-point games and 15 double-doubles. Overall, the man they call "MPJ" ranked 43rd in fantasy on a per-game basis. Heading into 2021-22, the 23-year-old is in position to improve his numbers across the board. Jamal Murray (knee) could be out for the majority of the regular season, which means Porter will be the clear No. 2 option behind Nikola Jokic. With Murray off the court last season, Porter averaged 24.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 blocks, plus 3.4 made threes per 36 minutes. If he's able to replicate those numbers, he'll easily be worth a third-round selection. However, fantasy managers need to keep in mind his injury potential. His medicals were reportedly some of the worst that teams had ever seen coming into the 2018 Draft, which is what caused him to slip to the 14th pick. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $172.55 million contract extension with the Nuggets in September of 2021.
Personal Bio

Michael Porter Jr. was born in 1998 in Columbia, Missouri. His mother, Lisa, played basketball at Iowa. His father, Michael Porter Sr. played college ball at New Orleans and was also an assistant coach at the University of Missouri during Michael Jr.'s one season there. Younger brother Jontay Porter also played at Mizzou. For high school ball, Porter attended Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School in Columbia, Missouri, before transferring to Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington for his senior season. Porter has seven siblings (Bri, Cierra, Jontay, Coban, Jevan, Izaak and Jayda). Porter grew up as a vegetarian. Then, in 2018, he changed his diet to raw vegan. Check him out on Twitter (@MPJr).

College/International Summary

Porter's collegiate career felt like a pin poked into a balloon. The 6-foot-10 forward was one of the top recruits in his class. As a high school senior in Washington, he averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds and his team was undefeated on its way to a Class 3A State Championship. Porter put up 19 points in the Nike Hoop Summit. Originally, he was going to stay in state and play for coach Lorenzo Romar at Washington. When Romar was fired, the sweet-shooting forward chose Missouri, in order to play with his brother Jontay. He hurt his back in his first game of the season and the injury required surgery. Porter made appearances in the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. He had 16 points, 10 rebounds and three steals in the loss to Florida State in the first round of the Big Dance. After the abbreviated season, Porter declared for the 2018 NBA Draft and was selected with the 14th overall pick by the Denver Nuggets.

Out vs. OKC
FDenver Nuggets
Knee
October 14, 2021
Porter (knee) is out Thursday against the Thunder, Mike Singer of The Denver Post reports.
ANALYSIS
The Nuggets are wrapping up the preseason on the second night of a back-to-back, so this news isn't surprising. He should be fine for the opener Wednesday against the Suns.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

Porter played in 61 games during his third season in the NBA. On the season, the 22-year-old averaged 31.3 minutes, 19.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.9 blocks and 0.7 steals per game -- all career-highs. The Mizzouri product scored 20-plus points 34 times and 30-plus points six times, including a career-high 39 on April 24. During the career-high performance, the 2018 first-round pick went 13-for-21 from the field, 8-for-12 from three and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. He also notched six rebounds, three blocks and two assists across 36 minutes. The 6-foot-10 forward grabbed double-digit rebounds 16 times, including a season-high 15 during a 118-112 win over the Bulls on March 1. During the contest, Porter went 7-for-10 from the field and 2-for-4 from three en route to 17 points, notching one of his 16 double-doubles on the season. The ex-Tiger distributed multiple assists 23 times, including a season-high five during a 110-104 win over the Clippers on May 1. Defensively, he registered at least one steal in 35 games, at least two steals in 13 games and a season-high four steals during a 109-82 win over the Heat on Jan. 27. Porter also blocked at least one shot in 38 games, at least two blocks in 14 games and blocked three shots on five occasions.

2019

The 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Porter came back from an injury-erased rookie campaign to appear in 55 games (eight starts) for the Nuggets in the pandemic-abbreviated 2019-20 season. He showed plenty of promise in his 16.4 minutes per game, averaging 9.3 points with 4.7 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks -- good for per-36 averages of 20.4 points, 10.3 boards, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks. Porter was efficient all over the floor, shooting 50.9 percent from the field, 42.2 percent from three-point range -- leading to 1.1 made threes per game -- and 83.3 percent from the line. Despite minutes being difficult to come by on a strong Denver team, Porter scored in double digits on 22 occasions, including all eight of his starts. Along the way, he posted nine double-doubles. Most of Porter's most productive games came during seeding play during the Orlando bubble, when he received a stretch of full-time run in the starting lineup. On Aug. 3, Porter put up a personal-best 37 points alongside 12 rebounds, a steal and a block against Oklahoma City. Two days later, he dropped 30 points with a career-high 15 rebounds to defeat the Spurs. All told, Porter averaged 22.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks in the bubble. He went on to serve as a key scorer during the Nuggets' 19-game postseason run to the Western Conference Finals. In Game 2 of the first round against Utah, Porter drew a start and scored 28 points, hitting six threes to go with six rebounds and a block. He ultimately posted 11.4 points with 6.7 rebounds across 23.7 minutes per game in the playoffs.

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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
Porter made his much-anticipated NBA debut last season after missing all of 2018-19 due to a back injury. His overall stats were modest -- 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16.4 minutes -- but Porter's upside showed through when he was given extended run. In the nine games (regular season and playoffs) that he saw 30-plus minutes, the forward averaged 23.1 points (55/51/94 shooting splits), 9.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.7 combined blocks-plus-steals. Heading into 2020-21, he's expected to start at forward for the Nuggets after both Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee left in free agency. Porter's defensive deficiencies are noteworthy, but coach Michael Malone doesn't have the same personnel available to keep him on the bench when he's struggling on that side of the ball. Plus, Porter's offensive potential is enormous. Fantasy managers need to keep in mind Porter's injury history dating back to high school, but he could be in store for a breakout sophomore campaign.
Porter is one of the more interesting prospects heading into the 2019-20 season, as the former USA Today High School Player of the Year in 2017 has played limited amounts of competitive basketball over the last two years due to a lingering back injury. After being cleared to participate in summer league, the Nuggets ultimately held Porter out due to a minor knee injury. Before arriving at Missouri, the 6-foot-10 Porter showed he had the physical tools and scoring ability that NBA teams desire in a modern wing, but his inability to take the floor in a healthy manner since has left the prospect as a big mystery for the league. The emergence of Torrey Craig and Malik Beasley as legitimate contributors for the Nuggets last season afforded them some time with Porter, and assuming the development of Craig and Beasley continues to head in a positive direction, Denver will likely be careful with the 21-year-old this year. Still, given Porter's pre-NBA accolades, it wouldn't be surprising if he finds himself in a legitimate rotation role with the Nuggets, able to play both forward spots and shooting guard. We know what Porter's floor is, but if he can reach a realistic ceiling of 25 minutes per game, he should hold fantasy relevance.
Porter, USA Today’s High School Player of the Year in 2017, was No. 1 on many team’s draft boards before the 2017-18 season. However, before even playing a game for Mizzou, Porter suffered a back injury, which required surgery to repair a bulging disc. The nature of back injuries combined with the fact that he appeared in just three college games scared NBA teams off, and Denver was able to draft Porter 14th overall. At 6-foot-10 with a smooth shooting stroke, it’s easy to understand why the Nuggets would be willing to take a gamble on Porter’s upside given their draft position. Things have gotten off to a less-than-ideal start, as Porter underwent another back surgery in mid-July. Still, according to a mid-August interview by Porter, "I don't have a date but I'm hoping to be back for the beginning of the year. Gotta heal up, but I feel great. I'm able to get on the court a little bit right now, do something different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They're really taking it easy with me, being patient with me." Fantasy owners who are optimistic about Porter’s health have a case to take him in the later rounds of a draft, as the team got thinner at the rookie’s position(s) over the summer, mainly due to the departure of Wilson Chandler. More conservative Fantasy owners also have a case to stay away and let someone else take the risk, as many NBA teams did on draft night.
More Fantasy News
Questionable vs. OKC
FDenver Nuggets
Knee
October 14, 2021
Porter (knee) is questionable for Thursday's preseason finale against the Thunder, Katy Winge of Altitude Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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Playing Friday
FDenver Nuggets
October 8, 2021
Porter (knee) will play in Friday's exhibition matchup with the Timberwolves.
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Questionable Friday
FDenver Nuggets
Knee
October 7, 2021
Porter (knee) is questionable for Friday's preseason contest against the Timberwolves, Harrison Wind of TheDNVR.com reports.
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Won't play Wednesday
FDenver Nuggets
Knee
October 6, 2021
Porter (knee) has been ruled out for Wednesday's preseason game against the Warriors, Harrison Wind of TheDNVR.com reports.
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Probable Wednesday
FDenver Nuggets
Knee
October 5, 2021
Porter (knee) is probable for Wednesday's preseason contest against the Warriors, Harrison Wind of TheDNVR.com reports.
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