After sitting out the 2018-19 season to recover from previous injuries, Michael Porter Jr. is more than ready to step up and make his mark on next season’s Denver Nuggets squad. Porter Jr. is ready and prepared to take part in Summer League in July, where he will look to showcase his talents and NBA readiness.
“Yea I can’t wait to get back out there. Nothing will compare to being out there for the first time in a real game. This team has a lot of weapons already, but I think I can be a versatile guy that does a lot of different things on the court and be a shot maker.”
He added: “I feel so good. I’ve worked so hard every day with these guys and I feel like I’m a better player than I’ve ever been. “I just want to show that I’m back, feeling good, and ready to play.”
Pegged by several mock drafts to be selected in or near the top-five in the 2018 NBA Draft, Porter Jr. fell to the Nuggets at pick 14 as a result of a back injury that cost him the majority of his freshman season at the University of Missouri.
“It’s been a tough couple of years for me, even going back to Missouri,” Porter Jr. said. “It was really tough, but you just have positive energy and work your hardest. Looking back, it’s great to see how far I’ve come.”
Although Porter Jr. didn’t see the floor during the season, he was able to gain valuable experience on the sidelines.
“It was amazing for me to be able to spend this year to learn the game and be around these guys,” Porter Jr. said. “I learned a lot. Just being around the NBA lifestyle, getting used to the travel, seeing how hard these guys play and the recovery involved. It’s been really good and I think it will really benefit me in the long run.”
With the Nuggets enjoying plenty of success this season as the team’s young core grew and developed, the 20-year-old forward enjoyed watching and learning from the bench. “It’s a huge advantage. I tried to take advantage of that, watching from the bench. Seeing where I may get my shots in the offense and just learning the NBA game. It’s a different game, with the spacing and everything, so I think it will be a big advantage.”
The Nuggets already possessed one of the most talented young cores in the NBA. If Porter Jr. is able to add another element of diversity and shot-making to the mix, Denver is poised to have success for years to come.
“He (Porter Jr.) is special for sure,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris added. “He can handle it, shoot it and he’s 6’11”. He’s a freak athlete. The best thing about Michael is that he feels he’s the best player on the court at all times, no matter who is out there. He carries that swagger about himself, so I feel it will be easy for him to adjust when he steps into the rotation because with that swagger, you will go out there and play confident.”
A new season starts now for Porter Jr. and the Nuggets as they look to grow and build on the successful 2018-19 campaign.