Jontay Porter

Jontay Porter Returning To Missouri

Freshman big man Jontay Porter has elected to withdraw from the 2018 NBA draft and return to Missouri for his sophomore year, the program announced today in a press release.

“We are excited that Jontay will return,” Mizzou head coach Cuonzo Martin said in a statement. “He had a great experience going through the pre-draft process, got the feedback that he needed to do what is best for him and he will learn from it to improve in all areas of his game. Jontay has the potential to make a big jump from his freshman season and he’ll be a great leader for us on and off the court next year.

In his freshman year, Porter averaged 9.9 PPG and 6.8 RPG for the Tigers, flashing an ability to protect the rim on the defensive end (1.7 BPG) and to shoot from outside on offense (.364 3PT%). Porter is currently the 42nd-ranked prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.

While Porter will head back to Missouri for at least one more season, his older brother – Michael Porter Jr. – has entered the draft and is forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility. Despite missing most of the season with a back injury, the elder Porter is viewed as a probable top-10 pick.

Draft Notes: Battle, Porter, Silva, Taylor, Munnings

Syracuse swingman Tyus Battle is likely to remain in the draft, a source informed Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com. The 6’6” Battle averaged 19.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 2.1 APG while rarely coming off the court for the Orangemen as a sophomore. Battle is rated No. 32 by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony in his latest Top 100 list. Battle has already worked out for the Clippers and has four more scheduled workouts this month, Zagoria adds.

In other draft-related comings and goings:

  • Missouri big man Jontay Porter is leaning toward returning to school, T.J. Moe of St. Louis’ 590 The Fan tweets. The 6’10” Porter is ranked No. 36 by Givony. The brother of likely lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. averaged 9.9 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 24.5 MPG as a freshman last season.
  • South Carolina forward Chris Silva has decided to return to school for his senior season, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. The 6’9” Silva averaged 14.3 PPG and 8.0 RPG as a junior.
  • Fresno State Deshon Taylor is returning to school for his senior year, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. The 6’2” Taylor averaged 17.8 PPG and 2.6 APG as a junior.
  • Louisiana-Monroe forward Travis Munnings has withdrawn from the draft, Goodman tweets. Munnings averaged 15.9 PPG and 7.3 RPG as a junior.
  • Marshall guard C.J. Burks will head back to school for his senior season, Rothstein tweets. The 6’3” Burks averaged 20.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.1 APG as a junior.
  • Bethune-Cookman forward Shawntrez Davis has opted to return to school for his senior campaign, Rothstein adds in another tweet. The 6’9” Davis averaged 14.7 PPG and 8.7 RPG last season.

Draft Workouts: Hawks, Bucks, Spurs, Wolves

The Hawks, who hold four of the top 33 picks in this year’s draft, are bringing in six more prospects for pre-draft workouts on Friday. Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure), Tyler Hall (Montana State), Kevin Huerter (Maryland), Jo Lual-Acuil (Baylor), Doral Moore (Wake Forest), and Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State) will get a look from Atlanta, according to a team release.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts:

  • The Bucks are working out local standout Ethan Happ on Thursday, per Jeff Potrykus of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Happ, who averaged 17.9 PPG and 8.0 RPG for Wisconsin this past season, is testing the draft waters as a junior.
  • Chinese forward Abudushalamu Abudurexiti has already worked out for eight NBA teams this spring, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, who identifies the Nets, Mavericks, Lakers, Bucks, Suns, and Jazz as clubs that have taken a look at the youngster. Scotto’s piece is worth checking out in full for a closer look at the under-the-radar prospect.
  • The Spurs worked out Seton Hall big man Angel Delgado on Wednesday, tweets Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. San Antonio also worked out Missouri’s Jontay Porter today, according to Aaron Reiss of The Kansas City Star (Twitter link).
  • Cincinnati forward Gary Clark will be among the prospects working out for the Timberwolves this week, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. So will Jontay Porter, per Aaron Reiss (Twitter link).
  • Xavier senior Trevon Bluiett auditioned for the Timberwolves this week and has a workout lined up with the Warriors on Sunday, per Shannon Russell of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Draft Updates: Maye, Lewis, Sexton, Green

North Carolina junior forward Luke Maye will enter the draft but won’t hire an agent in order to retain his college eligibility, according to the team’s website. The first-team All-ACC selection averaged 16.9 PPG and 10.1 RPG.

“This is what the system is designed to do, which is provide players with an opportunity to workout with NBA teams and get feedback from those teams,” Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said in a statement.

The 6’8” Maye is not listed among the top 100 prospects by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

In other draft-related news:

  • New Jersey Institute of Technology forward Abdul Lewis will test the draft waters, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweets. Lewis averaged 12.0 PPG and 8.8 RPG as a junior. The 6’10” Lewis played for South Alabama during his freshman campaign.
  • Alabama point guard Collin Sexton could be next season’s Donovan Mitchell, a late lottery steal, according to Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. Sexton could slide to the 8-13 range in the lottery and has star potential, Brigham continues. Michigan State sophomore swingman Miles Bridges and Missouri freshman big man Jontay Porter, the brother of more heralded Michael Porter Jr., could also fit the category of a major first-round bargain, Brigham adds.
  • Kentucky freshman guard Quade Green will return for his sophomore season, his mother to the Lexington Herald-Leader (Twitter link). The 6’0” Green averaged 9.3 PPG and 2.7 APG in 25.6 MPG as a freshman.

Jontay Porter Testing 2018 NBA Draft Waters

Missouri big man Jontay Porter announced today that he has decided to enter his name in the 2018 draft pool, though he won’t yet forgo his NCAA eligibility (Twitter link).

“While I am not making any final decisions at this point, I am not hiring an agent, and will be diligent in complying with all NCAA rules to ensure that I maintain my eligibility to compete at the NCAA level for Mizzou in the future,” Porter wrote. “I am going to declare for the NBA draft. This will allow me to evaluate my status with NBA teams so that I can make a fully educated decision on my future.”

In his freshman year, Porter averaged 9.9 PPG and 6.8 RPG for the Tigers, flashing an ability to protect the rim on the defensive end (1.7 BPG) and to shoot from outside on offense (.364 3PT%). Porter is currently the 35th-ranked prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.

Porter is the second Missouri underclassman to declare for the 2018 draft — and the second Porter brother to do so. His older brother – Michael Porter Jr. – has entered the draft and will forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility. Despite missing most of the season with a back injury, the elder Porter is viewed as a probable top-10 pick.