2018 NBA Draft Profile – Jontay Porter

jontay porter draft preview

BASICS

Height – 6’10”
Weight – 230 pounds
Age – 18.5
School – Missouri
DraftExpress Rank – 36
Season Stats – 24.5 minutes, 9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 43.7% FG, 36.4% 3PT, 75% FT

Overall

Size: Jontay Porter compares in height and length to Chinanu Onuaku. Pre-Draft Measurements have not been completed yet, but it’s estimated that Porter is roughly 6’10” to 6’11” in height.  Chinanu Onuaku was listed at 6’10” w/shoes, 7’2.75” wingspan, with a 9’0.5” standing reach at 245lbs.

Onuaku has great wingspan by height.  Porter’s wingspan may be close. It’s also estimated that Porter is roughly 240lbs.  However, both players have different frames.  Onuaku is seen as muscular and chiseled, while Porter has some additional strength to add given his current estimated weight.

General athleticism: All draft prospects have different levels of athletic attributes.  Porter may not necessarily be seen as quick, twitchy or explosive, but he is a very fluid athlete that follows through on his physical tools and post base well.

Porter runs the floor decently and looks fairly smooth when attacking the basket from the high post areas. It appears he can add strength down the line, where he could compete in the paint against larger bigs.  Quickness along the perimeter may need some work when switched onto wings or guards.

Offense

Painted area: Porter is not a traditional center.  He plays the five spot as if he were a wing player. His best strengths are court-vision, ball-handling and perimeter shooting from range. In the painted area, he may not display an up-and-under but prefers flip shots in the way that Antawn Jamison used to finish. Quick jump-hooks and floaters in the painted area allow him to convert at just a 60 percent field goal rate at the rim, but only 16.8 percent of his total shot attempts are at the rim.

Mid-range to Long 2: This is Porter’s secondary operating space on offense as 37 percent of his total shots are within this area and he shoots at an elite-guard-like rate of 45.5 percent. All of these shots are face up midrange shots, in a combination of iso and catch-and-shoot situations. He opts to take the inside pivot and face the hoop when looking to score and it’s a big advantage offensively.

3-point range:
 This is Porter’s primary operating space on offense. Just over 46 percent of his total shot attempts come from this distance. From the 3-point line, he observes the floor, draws gravity and is a legitimate 3-point threat. He is currently shooting 36.4 percent from distance and loves shooting in pick and pop situations as indicated by the 92.5 percent assisted rate of this shot. He has an easy, effortless release that resembles wing-like shooting but from the center position.

Playmaking: Porter’s best skill is being basketball literate. While he’s an elite NCAA shooter from midrange and certainly above average behind the arc, he makes veteran-guard-level reads in terms of running an offense. Guards may initiate the offense, but Porter can find the open man and make the correct pass consistently and decisively, especially in short-roll situations where the offense has a 3-on-2 or 2-on-1 advantage to a corner shooter. He gets his teammates open shots and has an assist rate of nearly 20 percent, which was higher than both Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram last season.

Defense

As mentioned earlier, Jontay Porter’s athleticism may not be described as twitchy or explosive, but he maximizes his abilities by translating his ability to read the floor on the defensive end. He maximizes his physical tools with some post base and some length to help out in team rotation situations and with good timing, blocking shots at a 7.3 percent rate. More important than athleticism is being in the right position to make plays, and Porter shows that in spades.

Rebounding: 
Porter doesn’t project to be a great rebounder, but at the NCAA level, he’s solid. He grabs defensive rebounds at a 23 percent rate and total rebounds at a 16 percent rate, which is certainly above average. There may be concerns that he may get lost against NBA elite size and athleticism, but usually rebounding effectiveness at the NCAA level directly translates to the NBA level. Getting stronger will only help.

Conclusion

In the modern NBA, traditional centers are being slowly phased out. Post players that can’t defend beyond 15 feet or shoot beyond 15 feet end up sitting on the bench.

Modern centers at least have to show one of those skills. Porter may not be a great pick and roll defender, but there still may be some athletic upside to unravel considering his current age. He already shows signs of some rim protection and rebounding ability based on his court awareness alone. His court awareness on offense and passing abilities are lottery-level attributes. The effortless shot with 3-point range allows for 5-and-out spacing on offense.

In a world where versatility matters, getting as many guard skills onto the floor is of utmost importance. The worst-case scenario may be last season’s Brook Lopez, but the best case scenario may give a whiff of what Nikola Jokic provides for the Denver Nuggets.

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