Portland Trail Blazers: 4 upside players at No. 25 in 2019 NBA Draft

Photo by Cody Glenn/Getty Images
Photo by Cody Glenn/Getty Images /
4 of 5
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /

2. Jontay Porter

Position: PF/C
Age: 19
Height: 6’11″/7’0″ wingspan
Weight: 210 pounds

If Jontay Porter had declared for the NBA Draft last year, he would have been a lock to be selected in the first round. However, he decided to go back to college and tore his ACL before the season, and then during a workout to get ready for the 2019 NBA Draft, he tore the same ACL again.

Not seeing him play for a bit and two ACL tears in less than a year might push Porter towards the end of the first round, or even into the second round. He’s still young, and if he gets healthy, he could be a massive steal for someone.

The Ringer compared Porter to a “thrift shop Nikola Jokic,” and that is honestly a good way to look at him. Porter is an excellent playmaker for a big man and can do damage both in the post and out on the wing. He may not be the strongest or quickest athlete, but can handle the ball, scores in the post, shoots it well from the 3-point line, sets excellent screens and is a high-IQ player on both ends.


NBA teams obviously are going to be concerned about Porter’s long-term health, and that could take him completely out of consideration for some of them. Before the injury, there were already concerns about his conditioning, burst around the rim and lack of length, and those are not going to go away for him anytime soon. Porter will need to become a better rebounder on both ends and hopefully being around an NBA staff will get his body in better shape for the league.

Portland needs to add some playmaking to its frontcourt, and Porter is probably the best one fitting that description in this draft class. The roster has some long, athletic big men and those are the type of guys he needs to play alongside with.

Porter’s playmaking and IQ would be an excellent addition to the team’s offense. Imagine him running a pick-and-roll with Nurkic as the roll man or McCollum or Lillard screening then slipping or popping out. Adding a center or power forward might not be the most significant need for the organization, but Porter’s potential value might be too hard for them to pass up if he’s still there.