1.) Jontay Porter, Center:
Nikola Jokic was drafted with the 41st pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. Hopefully, the Dallas Mavericks select Jokic-lite at the 37th spot this year: Jontay Porter.
This Mizzou big-man has an aptitude to the dish the rock with velocity and precision: passing shooters open, hitting the cutting man, dishing out of the post, and even frequently connecting on full-court heaves.
Jontay Porter was also no stranger to grabbing the rebound and starting the fast break, bringing the ball up the court and finding mismatches or the wide-open man. In addition to his handles and unteachable court vision, Jontay Porter kept defenses honest by knocking down the perimeter shot with ease and consistency from catch-and-shoot scenarios and even simple dribble jumpers.
He further excelled in both the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop as a great screener who seemingly always made the right decision: with a jumper, pass, or finish at the rim. Similar to Jokic’s pre-draft assessments, there are concerns with his defensive upside as his slow lateral movement and anchored feet will be exploited by more skilled bigs and would prevent Porter from stepping out to help for perimeter defense.
Porter’s unathletic appearance has also brought up questions about his rebounding although his instinctive nose for the ball and the happenings of the game prove otherwise. More importantly, Jontay Porter has had an injury-riddled past- tearing his ACL twice in the past year.
Despite all of this, with the great player development and medical staff in Dallas, the Mavericks’ front office should not hesitate in drafting this steal of a talent.