Reports: Michael Porter Jr. cleared for 2nd pro day

NBA.com Global on Jun 15, 2018 07:04 PM
Reports: Michael Porter Jr. cleared for 2nd pro day
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 15: NBA Draft Prospect, Michael Porter Jr. poses for a portrait during the 2018 NBA Combine circuit on May 15, 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

Former Missouri standout Michael Porter Jr. has been cleared for his second pro day in Chicago despite a strained hip, according to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania.

Porter Jr. was suffering hip spasms so severe Thursday morning that he could not get out of bed. MRI results were clean, however, and he recovered enough that teams were notified they could still evaluate him for medical purposes on Friday.

After initially canceling the workout, Porter Jr. received good news as an MRI on his hip came back clean, writes Charania:

After canceling his second pro-day workout, Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. — a projected high-lottery pick — underwent an MRI on his hip Thursday that returned clean, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Teams in the lottery for the June 21 draft told Yahoo Sports that they were informed on Wednesday that Porter’s workout was canceled, and he would undergo further testing. Porter’s agency, Priority Sports, has been transparent with teams throughout the pre-draft process, and informed teams Thursday that his MRI had “an even more positive review” compared to a recent examination, and he could reschedule the workout assessment for later Friday, league sources said.

Porter is expected to be re-evaluated by his doctor again Thursday night, league sources said. Porter’s training has been ramped up over the past three weeks, causing the spasms in his hip. He appeared returned to his normal status on Thursday.

NBA teams had been invited to bring their own trainers and doctors to evaluate Porter Jr. before the start of the now-cancelled workout, reports ESPN's Jonathan Givony:

Regardless, Porter's camp appears to feel comfortable with his stock. The Sacramento Kings (No. 2), Memphis Grizzlies (No. 4) and Dallas Mavericks (No. 5) are interested in Porter, and it's now unlikely he falls out of the top seven in the draft, sources tell ESPN.com. The Chicago Bulls hold the seventh pick.

Porter's draft stock appeared to be trending down after the college basketball season, as his refusal to participate in the NBA combine medical examinations and the postponement of his first pro day -- originally scheduled for June 1 and rescheduled to June 8 -- caused some teams picking in the late lottery to believe Porter might still be on the board for their pick. Questions about his ability to be a good teammate at Missouri and pre-draft interviews of Porter conducted by NBA teams attending the combine contributed to the concern.

Porter Jr. injured the L-3 and L-4 discs in his spine in his first collegiate game at Missouri and needed a surgery that wiped out most of his only collegiate season. That led to a limited body of work with which to judge Porter Jr. on prior to the Draft: 19 points in 23 minutes of the Nike Hoop Summit in 2017 and three games at Missouri (10 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 17.7 minutes per game).

Despite the change in Porter Jr.'s pro day schedule, his camp seems comfortable with what he has shown NBA executives, writes Givony:

The Sacramento Kings (No. 2), Memphis Grizzlies (No. 4) and Dallas Mavericks (No. 5) are interested in Porter, and it's now unlikely he falls out of the top seven in the draft, sources tell ESPN.com. The Chicago Bulls hold the seventh pick.

...

Porter ceased all basketball activity after the season, focusing his efforts on rehab, sources told ESPN, after losing strength in his left leg in particular due to the injury. He was cleared to play just two weeks prior to his June 8 pro day. While he reportedly felt only about 50 percent physically, he had a very impressive showing, according to multiple teams in attendance, shooting the ball exceptionally well. His size, fluidity and shot-making ability off the dribble reminded teams of the player who had been highly touted before the season.

The results of Porter's full medical examination, conducted by the Bulls, were eventually released to all NBA teams. Representatives of multiple teams that reviewed the information with their medical staffs say those results are encouraging.

Porter, one of the top high school recruits in 2017, says NBA teams will ultimately see a position-less player who dealt with the adversity of a major injury and got himself ready to become an NBA star.

"It’s been challenging, for sure, but I’m at 100 percent,’’ Porter told reporters recently. "I feel better than ever, actually. That injury actually happened a couple of years ago and it got worse. I feel pain-free and better than I have in a long time.

"It was a very minimally invasive surgery. They just had to fix the discs, take about 10 percent off that nerve and they said, after I got an MRI, that it has healed fully,’’ he added. "I just have to keep up with my (leg) extensions, my core exercises and stretching. I have a great physical therapist and team working with me through the draft, and they’re making me feel better every day. The recent MRI was to see how it had fully healed. There’s no risk to reinjure it.’’

Porter, 19, did not go through physicals or the testing at the Draft Combine in late May.

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