Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets set to add Michael Porter Jr. to the mix next season

The Denver Nuggets aren’t in position to make big moves this offseason, but the looming addition of Michael Porter Jr. is good news.

Even with an earlier playoff exit than they would have liked, after earning the No. 2 seed in the West, the Denver Nuggets look like a team on the rise. But they’re set to add a notable talent, as Michael Porter Jr. has been medically cleared and according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic he will play in the Summer League.

Porter had back surgery last July, and did not play this past season. His back issues originate from his lone, abbreviated season at Missouri. He was injured early in his first collegiate game, underwent a microdiscectomy, then returned to play in an SEC Tournament game and the Tigers’ 2018 NCAA Tournament loss to Florida State.

For his college career, Porter totaled 30 points (10-for-30 from the floor) and 20 rebounds over 53 minutes of action.

Heading into what was sure to be his lone college season, Porter Jr. was considered a candidate to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. That chance went away with his significant back injury and all the time it cost him, so he fell all the way to the Nuggets at No. 14-overall. With no notable need to fill, Denver could afford to draft Porter and embrace what amounted to a redshirt year.

Via the team’s website, Porter is looking forward to getting on the floor this summer.

Yea I can’t wait to get back out there. Nothing will compare to being out there for the first time in a real game. This team has a lot of weapons already, but I think I can be a versatile guy that does a lot of different things on the court and be a shot maker.

If healthy, the 6-foot-11 Porter profiles as a versatile forward who can score anywhere on the floor. That’s the kind of piece Denver is missing, even if he’s eased into meaningful action without a clear path to significant playing time on a deep team.

Next: 5 offseason needs for the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Nuggets are up against it financially, with only a $30 million team option on Paul Millsap to create real space for offseason moves shy of getting closer to the luxury tax threshold. So Porter is as close as they’ll probably get to a noteworthy addition, which seems just fine provided he can stay on the floor.

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