Jontay Porter Returning to Missouri, Won't Enter 2018 NBA Draft

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2018

Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. (13) talks with his brother Jontay Porter during the first half in an NCAA college basketball game against Georgia at the Southeastern Conference tournament Thursday, March 8, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Missouri forward Jontay Porter has announced he will withdraw his name from the 2018 NBA draft and return to the Tigers for his sophomore season.

"We are excited that Jontay will return," Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said Wednesday in a press release. "He had a great experience going through the predraft process, got the feedback that he needed to do what is best for him and he will learn from it to improve in all areas of his game. Jontay has the potential to make a big jump from his freshman season, and he'll be a great leader for us on and off the court next year."

Porter, the younger brother of likely lottery pick Michael Porter Jr., did not hire an agent. He was viewed as a late first-rounder or early second-rounder, and the lack of a boost in his stock following the draft combine likely led to his decision.

Wednesday is the deadline for players who did not hire agents to withdraw their names from the draft.

Getting a first-round promise was likely paramount to keeping Porter in the draft. First-round picks get guaranteed contracts. Second-round picks have to negotiate deals with their drafting teams and sometimes get the short end of the stick, with deals often coming in heavily in favor of the team. Porter probably would have hooked on at the end of the first round, but he'll see his stock benefit from a return to Missouri.

The 6'11" stretch 4 averaged 9.9 points and 6.8 rebounds during his freshman campaign. He showed some ability to protect the rim and is a better passer than expected, but Porter still struggled with his efficiency; he shot just 43.7 percent from the floor.

Missouri will look upon him to take a more scoring-heavy role in 2018-19 after losing Kassius Robertson and Jordan Barnett.

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