In the 2018 NBA draft, the Denver Nuggets selected Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th pick. Porter was seen as one of the best prospects that year, but a back injury caused him to fall a few ranks in the draft.
He missed the first season of his career recovering from a back injury, so his true rookie season was the 2019-20 season. Porter Jr. was still working on getting back into form during the beginning of his rookie season. When that season was stopped midway due to the COVID-19 shutdown, Porter had time to work on his craft by himself. That led to a breakout end to his season in the Bubble, in which he averaged 22 points per game.
Porter continued that momentum into the next season, averaging 19 points per game on 54 percent shooting in 61 games. At the same time, it looked like he could take an even bigger jump during the 2021-22 season, especially with Jamal Murray’s absence opening up opportunities for Porter to become the second option on the Nuggets. However, Michael Porter Jr. suffered another injury and only played nine games last season.
Michael Porter Jr. is only 24 years old. It is still believed that he could have tremendous upside if he could stay healthy. What is the ceiling for Michael Porter Jr.? In this article, we consider the ceiling for next season and the overall career for the young rising star.
One of the main skills that led to Michael Porter Jr. being considered one of the best prospects in the 2018 NBA draft is his scoring ability. He has terrific length and skill that could lead to him becoming one of the best scorers in the NBA. Due to his size and scoring ability, one of the players Porter is compared to the most is Kevin Durant, who is one of the best players in the NBA and is arguably the greatest scorer of all-time.
Michael Porter Jr. still has a long way to go before he is in the same category of player as Kevin Durant, but he has shown glimpses at times of a player who could be an elite scorer in the NBA. The end of Porter’s rookie season and the 2020-21 season following were key indications that he could be a very successful and efficient scorer in the NBA. All he really has to do is stay healthy, and he will continue to develop into an elite scoring threat.
Consistent Second or Third Option
The ceiling mentioned above will be limited by one factor: Nikola Jokic. As long as Michael Porter Jr. remains on the Denver Nuggets, he will be no more than a second or third option. That doesn’t mean that Porter can’t become a great NBA player; it is just hard to rationalize anyone becoming better than the reigning back-to-back MVP.
The Nuggets are going to be Jokic’s team for a very long time. What could make Porter Jr. valuable to the Nuggets is an improvement in his availability, which should eventually lead to him becoming a consistent second or third option. Realistically, Michael Porter Jr. could average points in the low 20s playing alongside Jokic. Whether he reaches that ability will ultimately depend on his health for the remainder of his career.