Future Watch: Michael Porter Jr. Rookie Basketball Cards, Nuggets – We’re in the second round of the playoffs and most (if not all) of the rookies from the 2018-19 season have been covered. While we wait for a new crop of rookies to emerge from the June draft, let’s use these next few weeks to highlight players who are currently in the league and can make a big jump in collectability for the 2019-20 season.
Michael Porter Jr. was born in Columbia, Missouri in 1998. He attended Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School in Columbia for his first three years before transferring to Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington for his senior year. As a senior, Porter Jr. averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game under coach and former NBA star Brandon Roy. Porter helped lead Nathan Hale High to a 29-0 record and the Washington Class 3A State Championship. USA Today named him Player of the Year for 2017. He was a consensus five-star prospect and initially committed to the University of Washington where his father was an assistant coach.
Michael Porter Sr. would leave the University of Washington and was hired as an assistant with the University of Missouri. Porter Jr. decommited from Washington and chose to follow his father to Missouri. Unfortunately, back injuries kept Porter Jr. from seeing the floor for most of his freshman season. He would play off the bench in the 2018 SEC Tournament, and in Missouri’s first round game of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. After the season, Porter Jr. elected to forego his final three years of college eligibility and entered the 2018 NBA Draft.
Considered one of the most talented scorers in his class, Porter Jr. was seen by many as a candidate for the first overall pick before injuries derailed his freshman season. Standing 6’10” with a 7’0” wingspan, he has the ideal height and length to be a modern NBA combo forward. His high release allows him shoot over most defenders, and he has incredible touch around the basket. He can score at all three levels and in transition. He will need to develop as a playmaker. He’s been the number one scoring option his entire career and should work to develop as a better passer. Defensively he will need to turn up the aggression to compete with the best in the NBA. Injuries aside, Porter is a tremendous offensive prospect. On draft night, the Nuggets selected Michael Porter Jr. in the first round with the 14th overall pick.
Instead of risking further injury to his back, Denver chose to have Porter sit out the entire season so he could fully recover from his injuries. He would have back surgery on July 19th, 2018. The Nuggets roster this year is deep and Porter may not have been able to carve out a consistent role as a rookie. Still, the organization has high hopes for the 20-year-old prospect. He can be a great fit alongside playmakers Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray or as a go-to scorer off the bench. Denver is going to take their time with Porter to make sure he’s fully healthy before he earns consistent minutes.
Recent reporting has revealed that Michael Porter Jr. is fully healthy and plans to play in the 2019 NBA Summer League. His first match-up could be against whichever team drafts Duke’s Zion Williamson. If that’s the case, it may be one of the most anticipated Summer League games of the past decade. Porter Jr.’s collectability will grow if he puts together a solid showing in Las Vegas. Now is the time to pick up his rookie cards and certified autographs. Many collectors have passed him up due to his injury and you can currently find some great prices on his 2018-19 rookie cards. They’re worth a stash and could see an increase in value before he has even played a regular season game.
Look for Michael Porter Jr. in his Missouri uniform in 2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks. He appears across Panini’s entire 2018-19 NBA catalog. Find his rookie cards and certified autographs in Cornerstones, Revolution, Prizm, Crown Royale and many more!
Future Watch: Michael Porter Jr Rookie Basketball Cards, Nuggets – College Stats
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