Michael Porter Jr. Agrees to 4-Year Rookie Contract with Nuggets

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2018

Steve Stretz, right, shows the front page of the sports section of The Denver Post to Michael Porter Jr., center, the Denver Nuggets first-round pick in the NBA Draft, after a news conference to introduce the player to the media Friday, June 22, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Denver Nuggets and No. 14 overall pick Michael Porter Jr. agreed to a rookie-scale contract that could pay him up to $15.4 million over the next four years.

Denver officially announced the deal on Tuesday and tweeted out a GIF of Porter signing:

The 19-year-old was considered perhaps the steal of the draft after nearly falling out of the lottery due to health concerns.

The 6'11" swingman missed all but three games of his lone season at Missouri due to back issues and dealt with hip problems during the pre-draft process. He was once considered a contender to be the top overall pick in the class.

"[Agent Mark Bartelstein] told me, 'Mike, Mike, you're going to go to the situation for you,'" Porter said, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. "'Once you're in the NBA, people will know and find out who the best players are. It's not about a number.' Don't make it about ego. [Everyone] just kept me positive.

"It's hard sitting at that table as picks go by. But they just kept me positive."

Denver is yet to confirm whether Porter will be available for summer league or the 2018-19 regular season.

Regardless of his immediate status, the Nuggets are talented enough to take this risk, and it could pay off in a major way.

Porter was, bar none, the most talented scorer in the 2018 draft class. He's a rangy borderline 7-footer with guard skills in the open court; the player himself isn't lacking in confidence when he's asked to describe his game.

Porter told CBS Sports' Damon Amendolara:

"Right now, I would say I'm a mix of Giannis and KD. I like going to the hole a little more than KD does. I like bumping into people, a little more physical than KD. But I like to shoot the ball a little more than Giannis. So that's what I like to compare myself to—and also Tracy McGrady. I get compared to him a lot, and I like that one a lot, too. Those are three amazing players. It doesn't feel bad to be in the same conversation as them."

If Porter is even a poor man's version of what he says, he'll be a steal at No. 14. As it stands, everyone will instead be waiting to see how his body holds up to the rigors of an NBA schedule. 

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