Michael Porter Jr. explains why he is happy the Clippers passed on drafting him
The LA Clippers passing on Michael Porter Jr. in 2018 is one of the greatest whiffs in recent draft history. But Porter himself thinks that it all worked out for the best.
The Denver Nuggets forward appeared this week on JJ Redick’s “Old Man and the Three” podcast. Porter explained during the episode why he was happy that he did not end up on the Clippers.
“To be honest with you, it might have been a God thing,” said Porter. “You know how crazy L.A. is, who knows? Living in L.A. as a rookie doing just strictly rehab without even playing? I might have gotten into some stuff. So I am where I’m supposed to be.”
The 23-year-old Porter also said he has no bitterness towards any team.
Heading into the 2018 draft, Porter had major injury concerns with his back that caused him to slide from the potential No. 1 overall pick to the back of the lottery. The Clippers had picks No. 12 and 13 that year, choosing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson over Porter. Gilgeous-Alexander was an excellent selection who ended up being a centerpiece of the team’s blockbuster trade for Paul George the next summer. But Robinson lasted just three seasons in the league, averaging 4.5 points per game (though the Clippers acquired a quality veteran in Marcus Morris Sr. by trading him).
As for Porter, he went to the Nuggets with the very next pick at No. 14. He ended up missing his entire rookie season after undergoing a second back surgery. But Porter has since blossomed into a strong all-around forward, averaging 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds last season on a scorching 44.5 percent from three.
Porter did seem to have some ill will towards the Clippers when the Nuggets faced them in the 2020 postseason. But he got his revenge on them as Denver won that series, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to combust the Clippers. Thus, any hard feelings appear to be gone now.