ESPN ranks Kevin Porter Jr. number 20 on their list of best available players. That’s understandable because of his lack of production in college. However I believe as he continues to work out for teams, a general manager will be intrigued by his talent. In fact I projected him to be drafted number 11 by the Minnesota Timberwolves, in our latest mock draft. Sports Illustrated NBA Draft expert Jeremy Woo is as high on Kevin Porter, as I am. This is apparent as Woo ranks him number 13 on his updated NBA Draft big board.
Draft expert Mike Schmitz of ESPN shares his film room sit down with Kevin Porter Jr. via Twitter:
For with the Atlanta Hawks
Should the Atlanta Hawks select Kevin Porter Jr. in the upcoming NBA Draft, he projects as a top scorer for the teams second unit initially. That way he can provide instant offense for the team as he develops, while learning to play off ball more and make better decisions with the basketball. Once that development happens, he could compete for a starting spot on the wing next to Kevin Huerter. If on the floor with Trae Young, Kevin Porter Jr. will be used primarily as a spot up shooter and a finisher in transition. He could also take on some responsibilities as the secondary ball handler, allowing Trae Young to function as a spot up shooter at times.
Drafting Kevin Porter Jr. is too risky of a pick at number eight or number ten. However should the Atlanta Hawks keep all three first round picks, drafting Porter at pick 17 is a risk worth taking should he be available that late. Travis Schlenk spoke of drafting players that can dribble, pass and shoot and Porter Jr. does all three of those things well. The Atlanta Hawks staff is great at developing players, but the work ethic of Kevin Porter Jr. has been questioned. I personally have no way of quantifying this, as this has been said about many prospects in all sports. These claims over the years have sometimes turned out to be true and other times been proven false. If general manager Travis Schlenk determines that Kevin Porter Jr. has the desire to be great, it would not be a surprise to see Kevin in a Hawks jersey. That desire however could be the difference in Kevin Porter Jr. being a modern version of Jamal Crawford with better defense, or an erratic, streaky shooter like Nick Young. In a draft that is not deep such as this one, taking a risk on the right player with upside, seems like the best direction to go on. One thing is for certain, it won’t be long before we find out if Kevin Porter Jr. will wear an Atlanta Hawks uniform.