Michael Porter Jr. was viewed as the potential top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft when he entered his freshman year at Missouri, but he suffered a back injury that required surgery and limited him to just three (underwhelming) games for the Tigers. He also suffered a hip injury in recent weeks, but did say the injury was “exaggerated a lot.”

The 6’10” forward was still expected to be a top-10 pick on Thursday night, but surprisingly slid all the way to Denver Nuggets at the 14th pick.

Clearly the injury concerns — particularly the back, of course — scared off several teams. And it sounds like he may not even play in the 2018-19 season.

The Action Network’s Matt Moore says that he “would not expect Michael Porter Jr. to play this season,” based on “what [he’s] heard and how much Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly stressed patience.”

Based on the comments from Connelly, you can see how Moore reached that conclusion. And if Porter’s health is *that* concerning, it’s easy to understand how he fell to No. 14.

But even if Porter has to sit out a season, it’s still a no-brainer of a draft pick by the Nuggets. The NBA is a star-driven league, and Porter absolutely has star upside, frequently getting comps to Kevin Durant (no one is saying that he’ll be anywhere near as good as Durant, of course, but just that there are similarities in the body and skillset). At the 14th pick, you’re usually talking about finding a role player, so to be able to get a talent that even has a chance to be awesome is an opportunity you can’t pass up.

Maybe Porter is constantly injured and a disappointment, but the Nuggets made the right call to take the swing here, even if he can’t contribute for the team until after the 2018-19 season. If he’s anywhere near the talent he’s capable of being in a few years, nobody’s going to care that he didn’t play a game this season.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.