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2018DD

#14 – Michael Porter Jr. – Denver Nuggets

Matt John

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With the No. 14 pick in the NBA draft, the Denver Nuggets selected forward Michael Porter Jr. from the University of Missouri.

Leading up to the draft, there was much speculation that Porter could have gone as high as the second overall pick, but after teams got a look at his medical records, his perceived value began to fall. Porter slid all the way to the Nuggets, who record-wise, were the best team that missed out on the playoffs.

Porter measures in 6-foot-10.75, 211 pounds. The sample size was very small since Porter had to miss the majority of his freshman season, but the potential is definitely there for the Missouri alum. Porter’s scoring prowess makes him have one of the highest ceilings in a loaded draft class this year, which could make him one of the greatest draft-day steals of all time if he reaches it.

If Porter reaches his ceiling, then he is undoubtedly a perfect fit in Denver. The Nuggets, who were arguably a healthy Paul Millsap from making some noise out West, desperately need a go-to scorer to pair with their young core. Porter’s ability to score from anywhere on the court should make him the perfect complement to Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Gary Harris.

His ability to put the ball in the bucket should make him a keeper, but his athleticism is what could make him a potential franchise cornerstone. Porter has a fair amount of quickness for a guy his size, which could make him one of the league’s best two-way players.

Unfortunately, Porter’s question marks make him as much of a high risk as he is a high reward. His medical records evidently turned teams off after he was believed to be selected in the top 10, and there has been a lot of chatter that he may not be the most motivated basketball player. Perhaps falling all the way down to 14th could give him all the motivation he needs.

The Nuggets received a lot of flak when they traded Donovan Mitchell’s draft rights for Trey Lyles and the rights to Tyler Lydon at last year’s draft, but now they may have made up for all of that by getting Porter.

Matt John is a staff writer for Basketball Insiders. He is currently a Utah resident, but a Massachusetts native.

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2018DD

Sources: 76ers Trade Khyri Thomas to Pistons

Basketball Insiders

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Philadelphia’s No. 38 overall pick Khyri Thomas will be traded to Detroit, league sources say.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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2018DD

Sources: Kings Trade Gary Trent Jr. to Blazers

Basketball Insiders

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Gary Trent Jr. is headed to the Blazers in a trade, league source tells ESPN.

Portland will send Sacramento to two future second-round picks for Trent, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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2018DD

#30 – Omari Spellman – Atlanta Hawks

Lang Greene

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With the No. 30 pick in the NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Omari Spellman from Villanova University. .

After 10 consecutive seasons reaching the playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks failed to win 25 contests in 2018. Gone are All-Stars Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague, all of whom the franchise groomed at various points during their decade of playoff bliss. Now the team is faced with a daunting rebuild under second year general manager Travis Schlenk and first year coach Lloyd Pierce.

Spellman was the third Villanova player selected in the first round of this year’s draft behind Mikal Bridges (No. 10 overall) and Donte DiVincenzo (No. 17 overall). In his lone campaign with the Wildcats, Spellman appeared in 40 contests and averaged 10.9 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

The Hawks continue to add shooting to their rebuilding roster. With the No. 3 overall pick, the team selected Luka Doncic, who will be traded to the Dallas Mavericks for the rights to No. 5 overall pick Trae Young. The team used the No. 19 overall selection to draft shooting guard Kevin Huerter from the University of Maryland. In Spellman, the Hawks acquire a big man that shot 43 percent from the collegiate three-point line last season.

In addition to Young and Huerter, Spellman will join a young Hawks core featuring point guard Dennis Schroder and forward John Collins, two of the team’s first round draft picks from prior years.

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