Of course, Porter played just three games at Missouri during the 2017-18 season after suffering a back injury. He underwent spinal surgery and eventually returned to play two games for Missouri in the SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament.
Porter was once viewed as a potential No. 1 overall pick, but teams were understandably cautious about drafting him in 2018 because of his injury. He would eventually need to undergo a second surgery and was unable to participate in some workouts during the pre-draft process.
Prior to the draft, Porter gave teams the opportunity to evaluate his back at a pro day in Chicago. He disclosed on “The Old Man & the Three” podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter that the doctor from the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t believe he could play again.
For the second pro day, I’m laying on a table and all (of the) top 10 teams have their doctors there and they’re just evaluating me. The guy from the Clippers was the head doctor and he’s the one that wrote the report, it’s like, ‘Yeah, he probably won’t ever play again.’
Porter eventually fell to the Nuggets with the 14th overall pick. He missed the entire 2018-19 season after recovering from a second back surgery but had a strong performance in the bubble before turning in a career year last season.
He averaged a career-high 19 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 61 games last season. He shot 44.5% from 3-point range on 6.3 attempts per game and became a full-time starter as the Nuggets advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
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Porter used the misinformation regarding his injury as motivation to prove those teams wrong that passed on him. He wants to become the best draft pick ever by the Nuggets after the organization believed in him enough to take him in the lottery.
He doesn’t hold any ill-will toward the Clippers after passing on him twice that year. In fact, he even believes it was meant to be that he landed in Denver instead of Los Angeles. Certainly, the Nuggets organization and its fans are sure glad he did.
Source: Yahoo Sports