Kevin Porter Jr. seems to be a favorite among Miami Heat fans, but would he really be a good fit within the organization?
While the majority of fans around the league are focused on whether it’ll be the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors that must face off against the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals, Heat Nation has other priorities in mind.
So far, the frontrunner seems to be Kevin Porter Jr., which may leave supporters scratching their heads a bit.
Porter, a native of Seattle, spent just one season at the USC before announcing his intention to forgo the rest of his college career for a shot at the pros. Additionally, he came away averaging a mere 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 22.1 minutes per game over 21 appearances (despite having scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in his Nov. 6, 2018 debut off the bench).
And oh yeah, the 19-year-old was also suspended indefinitely in mid-January for “personal conduct issues.”
Not exactly a collegiate resume that jumps off the page for the better.
However, Kevin Porter Jr. does still have plenty working for him.
For starters, he shined bright in high school, securing a starting spot as a freshman (alongside Dejounte Murray) and helping his team reach the state championship during his first two years. He blossomed as a junior, averaging 24.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per contest, and only developed further as a senior, posting 27.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists a night. This helped him earn the title of Washington Mr. Basketball, and was labeled a five-start recruit by Rivals (four-star by ESPN).
Then there’s the fact that his shot-making abilities are A1.
Between shooting 41 percent from downtown at USC, a strongly developed knack for creating his own shot, and feeling comfortable with playing at a fast pace, Porter should easily fit right into Miami’s offensive system.
(He’s even a lefty, to boot.)
The shooting guard has also exhibited versatility in his offense with the ability to finish at the rim, in transition or from deep, which could certainly play into head coach Erik Spoelstra’s love for position-less basketball.
What’s more is that Porter Jr. has recently taken full ownership of his prior actions, something that would without a doubt sit well with Riley should South Florida indeed be a potential landing spot for the 6’6″ prospect.
"“Me being my age, I was very immature and I matured from that, and I feel like it was something I needed and I don’t regret it at all,” he told the Miami Herald. “It was definitely an experience I needed, just a reality check of where I’m at as a person… A lot of people say I’m like one of the most talented guys, but they have a lot of red flags on my character and I’ve just been working on that, trying to improve off the court, prove that they can trust in me.”"
Although it’s still unclear just how interested Miami is in Porter, he did meet with the front office on Friday after also making his rounds to the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks.
As long as he continues to keep on the right track, Kevin Porter Jr. could be just the type of project the Miami Heat need to take on this offseason.