If there was a silver-lining to Michael Porter Jr.’s redshirt rookie season, it’s that he got a graduate course in NBA lifestyle without having to take the exams.
Denver’s prized first-round pick of 2018 was exposed to the demanding travel and reaped the benefits of NBA coaching and trainers. But unlike the other rookies in his class, Porter Jr. soaked in the experience from the bench, watching in dress clothes as his teammates flourished into a Western Conference contender. After months of anticipation and viral glimpses of his talent, Porter Jr. is expected to make his professional debut at Las Vegas Summer League in July.
The biggest question surrounding Porter Jr. is his health. Weeks after the Nuggets pounced on Porter Jr. with the No. 14 pick, he underwent a second back surgery in eight months. The first was a microdiscectomy while at Missouri; the second was on his lumbar spine last July.