Knicks Rumors: Injured Michael Porter Jr. Considered a 'Reckless' Selection at 9

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 06:  Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a game between the Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Cox Pavilion on July 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Some New York Knicks fans may have wanted the team to select Michael Porter Jr. when the team was on the clock with the No. 9 overall selection at this year's NBA Draft, but Porter's medical concerns all but eliminated that possibility.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, "Sources have indicted it would have been 'reckless' to take Porter as a high as No. 9 after seeing medical reports soon before the draft."

Berman added: "The Knicks needed to take a player who would immediately show terrific potential as they embark on a 2019 free agency hoping to draw a max-worthy player, perhaps point guard Kyrie Irving, who watched [Kevin] Knox when the Knicks faced Boston."

The Knicks deemed that player to be Knox and he impressed during the Summer League, averaging 21.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in Las Vegas.

"I did pretty well, I handled the ball on the pick-and-roll, showed people I could shoot the ball," Knox said of his Summer League showing, per Berman. "I'm probably getting a little stronger, working more on finishing. I’m getting by a lot of guys and being able to get to the basket I want being able to finish when I get there, and of course defense."

Porter, meanwhile, fell to No. 14 in the draft to the Denver Nuggets after playing just three games for Missouri during his freshman season due to a back injury. He didn't play in Summer League and may not play this season, period. Certainly, the Nuggets don't need to rush him along.

The team already has a playoff contender in place, with a core of Nikola Jokic, Will Barton, Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Isaiah Thomas established. At forward, the team will have players like Millsap, Trey Lyles, Juan Hernangomez, Tyler Lydon and rookie Jarred Vanderbilt capable of playing minutes.

Porter may be a future starter in Denver, but ensuring he's fully healthy and ready for 5-on-5 basketball after sitting out for most of his freshman season would be the logical approach. Denver can afford to redshirt Porter and bring him along slowly. 

But the Knicks—with Kristaps Porzingis recovering from an ACL injury and a hugely important 2019 free agency looming, when players like Irving, Kevin Durant and Jimmy Butler may consider relocating to the Big Apple—felt they couldn't afford that luxury. 

Knox, to his credit, made that decision feel like the correct one during Summer League.

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