Michael Porter Jr. will likely miss the rest of his freshman season following his microdiscectomy.
Porter is still expected to be a top pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
NBA executives are mixed on how Porter's injury will impact his future.
“If it’s a standard microdiscectomy, it shouldn’t be much of an issue (lots of those procedures on NBA players),” one general manager said Sunday via text. “If it’s more than that, the result could be of greater impact. If he can do a few draft workouts, he should be just fine. It may play out like the (Joel) Embiid draft where Joel was affected by a couple picks (because of the foot), but not much beyond that.”
Another executive was more pessimistic.
“No doubt it hurts him,” the exec said. “Obviously the medical evaluation will be more important and often times as we know, the agents with players at this level withhold information from most of the teams so it will be an interesting decision as to how they handle. Backs are like knees and serious foot/ankle injuries. Tough ones.”
Porter will compete with Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley Jr. and DeAndre Ayton for the top draft slots.
“It depends obviously on the outcome of the procedure and level of rehab success,” another GM said. “But it would take a real problematic situation to cause a big draft slip. He should stay well inside the Top 5.”
Said another longtime personnel man: “he will still be a top five pick but might not go number 1 now. Almost like Embiid. If he were healthy, he would have been number 1 but with injury went 3. It depends where the gap is from top tier to next tier. If teams see 5 guys at the top he goes 5. If they see 3 guys he goes 3.”
And another: “it’ll be hard to take him #1, but unlikely he drops out of top 5 IMO.”