The way he sees it, Porter was widely considered the best high-schooler in
the country 12 months ago – even though he had back issues that led to him
having surgery last fall and basically robbed him of his only college season at
Missouri. So now, he thinks it’s logical that if his back is better, his stock
should be even higher as well.
”I’m still the best player,” Porter said.
And that’s his message at the NBA Draft Combine, going on this week in
Chicago. The small forward went through the anthropometric testing – height,
weight, wingspan, body fat percentage and so on – but isn’t partaking in
on-court matters this week Russell
Bodine Color Rush Jersey , opting instead to save his statements
there until he gets workouts with teams over the coming weeks.
”I know without a doubt,” Porter said. ”I’ve played against all these guys.
They’re all great players. But I’m the best player in this draft and I can’t
wait to show what I’m capable of.”
The players who are likely to be taken at the very top of next month’s draft
aren’t participating in the combine. Arizona’s Deandre Ayton declined an
invitation, Slovenian standout Luka Doncic’s season in Europe isn’t in Chicago
– his European season isn’t over – and Duke’s Marvin Bagley III only took part
in interviews with some teams.
That doesn’t mean intrigue is lacking at this gathering of hopefuls.
Texas’ Mo Bamba, he of the 7-foot-10 wingspan , said he believes he merits
consideration from Phoenix for the No. 1 overall pick. Billy Preston , who left
Kansas in November under the cloud of an NCAA investigation and briefly played
in Europe, is in Chicago and insisting that he’s ready mentally and physically
for the NBA life. Brian Bowen , who hasn’t played a college game yet – he left
Louisville for South Carolina after it became known he was part of the FBI’s
probe into college basketball and could only practice with the Gamecocks after
enrolling there – is participating as well.
But there might not be a player in Chicago with more intrigue around him
right now than Porter, who went from can’t-miss to couldn’t-play.
”Mike is a great player Mike
Gesicki Color Rush Jersey ,” said Bruce Brown Jr., a guard who’s
leaving Miami after two seasons for the NBA. ”I know him personally. We’re cool
as friends. I think he can show the world what he is capable of and what I know
he’s capable of.”
Porter is among the 25 or so Chicago invitees who are skipping the 5-on-5
portions of the combine. That’s not a surprise – the trend in recent years has
been for players who are likely to be taken with the highest picks to skip some
or all of the combine events – but a case could be argued that Porter could
have used some game time.
He played in three games at Missouri, one of those for only two minutes
before his back surgery on Nov. 21. He returned for two NCAA Tournament
Here’s how little Porter played last season: There were 3,505 players in
Division I who scored more points than he did in his only college campaign.
Porter shot 10 for 30 at Missouri, scoring 30 points in 53 minutes.
Obviously, those aren’t best-player numbers. Everything else on his resume
suggests otherwise – 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior in high
school, MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game, and was both the Naismith and
Gatorade Boys High School National Player of the Year awards. He was the fifth
player to sweep those, joining Alonzo Mourning Authentic
Derrick Nnadi Jersey , Dwight Howard, Chris Webber and LeBron
”In the workouts, I won’t be holding back at all,” Porter said.
He’s interviewing with a slew of teams this week – New York, Dallas,
Philadelphia, Phoenix, Atlanta, Cleveland Ryan
McMahon Colorado Rockies Jersey , Memphis, Houston and the Los
Angeles Clippers so far, with Sacramento, Charlotte, Oklahoma City and Boston
still to go. He knows that the Bulls fans are letting anyone who will listen on
Twitter know they want him, and said he was impressed how New York’s braintrust
knew many things about him.
And make no mistake: He says he is raring to play again.
”I was hoping to turn college basketball upside down, just like a lot of
these players,” Porter said. ”But this is just a step in my process. It’s a
little different, but I’m more ready than ever. I’ve been dreaming about this
NBA stuff for so long. I feel like I’m ready.”
Alonso returned Monday after missing a weekend series against Minnesota.
Alonso is batting .248 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs in 65 games for Cleveland
Color Rush Jersey , which signed him as a free agent in
To make room for Alonso, the team optioned outfielder Greg Allen to Triple-A
The Indians also signed reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league contract
and assigned him to the Clippers. The left-hander previously pitched for the
Indians from 2013-15, appearing in 145 games. He pitched in a career-high 73
games for Cleveland in 2014.
He pitched last season with Seattle and two months in 2018 with the Mariners
before being designated for assignment on June 1. He has appeared in 501 career
major league games.
Also, outfielder Melky Cabrera cleared waivers and elected free agency. The
team designated him for assignment last week.
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