Among the many talented players who were not selected in the 2019 NBA Draft, former Missouri center Jontay Porter was among the most head-scratching. The 6-foot-11 big man was widely-expected to be picked at some point in the draft, but the question was more about “when,” not “if.”
Porter falling out of the draft was surprising, and ESPN had him listed as the No. 42 prospect and No. 8 overall center, yet he was left without an NBA home when the night wrapped up. It’s obviously worth noting that the 19-year-old big man missed his entire sophomore season after tearing his ACL and MCL.
During his freshman season in 2017-18, Porter averaged 9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 blocks over 24.5 minutes per game. He made 43.7 percent of his field goal attempts while showing the ability to step out and knock down 3-pointers, connecting on 36.4 percent on 3.3 attempts per game.
We’re going to take a look at a few of the best fits for Porter as an undrafted free agent, featuring two teams in need of some potential depth up front.
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Jontay Porter NBA Draft: Lakers, Spurs Top Undrafted Free Agent Fits
The Los Angeles Lakers are a popular name to cite for a number of top undrafted free agents, largely due to the fact that they’ll need cost-effective players in order to make a push for a max-level free agent. After the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis via trade, their roster is incredibly thin, and the need at center is an obvious one.
It’s unknown if Porter can be a plug-and-play option to see minutes with the second unit at the NBA level, but if he proves capable of that, it’d be a huge win for the Lakers. Regardless, Los Angeles would be smart to at least kick around the idea of adding the young big man.
Along with the Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs are a team who had a need at center. They drafted Croatian forward Luka Samanic along with Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson and Mississippi State’s Quinndary Weatherspoon, but could still use another piece on the front line.
San Antonio’s addition of Jakob Poeltl in the Kawhi Leonard trade is noteworthy, but he didn’t take major strides forward during the 2018-19 season. Regardless, Porter is the perfect young big man to add into the system and he’d have time to improve his game over time before being thrust into decent minutes.