2019 NBA Draft: Top 5 boom-or-bust candidates

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /
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(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

2. Kevin Porter Jr, SG, USC

Height: 6’5.5” | Weight: 213 | Age: 19

Speaking of combustible, Kevin Porter Jr. can score at will, but few scouts seem to know what to make of him. His stock in Autumn was sky-high, seeming destined to be a top-10 pick. Now, after a freshman season featuring both injury and a suspension, Porter is an enigma.

The 6’6” lefty has a natural flair that few players do, but that hasn’t always worked in those guys’ favor. Likewise, his stats at USC do not scream future All-Star, but Porter is one of the younger players in this year’s draft and quite raw overall despite having a couple ready-to-go moves.

The most remarkable stat of his freshman year was his 41.2 percent 3-point shooting, especially considering he only shot 52.2 percent on free throws. His mechanics need a lot of work, which leads me to believe he is closer to the poor shooter his free throws signify than a lights-out 40 percent 3-point shooter.

As you can see in this clip of his Atlanta Hawks workout, his shot originates from the middle of his chest and simply looks unnatural.

He’s got the moves, the size and the athletic ability — including a tremendous first step — to become the kind of scorer similar spark plugs like Dion Waiters projected to be. If things work out for Porter, he very well may be the top scorer to come out of the 2019 draft class, but there is a ton of downside.

Off the ball, both offensively and defensively, Porter rarely engaged, usually just standing around and waiting until it was his time to do something. Obviously, with the behind-the-scenes suspension, there was a lot of stuff going on, but Porter often looked distracted on the court.

It seems unfair to brand a 19-year-old as a “head case,” but there are legitimate concerns about Porter’s ability to transition to NBA life after he struggled both on and off the court as a college athlete.