Butch Dill/Associated Press
Per that report, “Porter, the Missouri power forward who missed his sophomore season after tearing his right ACL in a preseason scrimmage against Southern Illinois, recently re-tore the same ligament while in Denver, multiple sources told The Star. The Missouri basketball team confirmed the injury.”
Porter had been rehabbing the injury, though the tear occurred during an on-court workout.
Porter, 19, averaged 9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a freshman last season and would have been the Tigers’ star player had he been healthy. Even missing his entire sophomore season, he was still projected to be a potential first-round pick.
B/R’s Jonathan Wasserman projected Porter to the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 21 overall pick in his March 20 mock draft, writing: “Porter shot, passed and defended well enough as a freshman to warrant first-round consideration. He needed to improve his conditioning last year, and that was before the ACL injury that sidelined him for the entire 2018-19 season.”
It’s hard to imagine a second ACL tear in a year won’t drop Porter down the board, though the fact that he displayed enough talent to still be a first-round pick despite his first ACL tear is good news for his draft stock. His injury history may make teams wary of selecting him in the first round, but he’ll still likely be in play for teams early in the second round if he does fall down the board.
Harry Giles, for instance, tore each of his ACLs during his high school career over a three-year period, but after playing a limited role for Duke, he was drafted No. 20 overall in 2017, landing with the Sacramento Kings. Granted, Giles didn’t play his rookie season, as the Kings chose to take the cautious approach given his injury history.
Any NBA team that selects Porter very likely would do the same.
It’s also possible Porter could consider returning to Missouri and rebuilding his draft stock with a healthy, and successful, 2019-20 season. Regardless, Porter very clearly has the game to play at the next level, so with a full recovery, he should get the chance to showcase that talent.