Jontay Porter

Lou Williams Expected To Play In Restart; Beal Still Undecided

Seven players so far have opted out of the NBA’s restart this summer, but Clippers guard Lou Williams is unlikely to join that group. Despite previously expressing uncertainty about his status, Williams is expected to suit up for the Clippers as they pursue a title at Walt Disney World, head coach Doc Rivers said on Wednesday.

“As far as Lou, all indications (are) that yes, he is (playing),” Rivers said on a Zoom call, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. “Obviously, up until we get on the plane, anything can happen. But I do expect Lou to be with us. I would be very surprised if he’s not.”

Meanwhile, another high-scoring guard, Bradley Beal, remains uncertain about his status for Orlando, as Youngmisuk writes in a separate story. Beal’s teammate Davis Bertans has already pulled out due to injury concerns ahead of his upcoming free agency. Beal’s backcourt mate and fellow All-Star John Wall won’t be in attendance either, as he continues to focus on his Achilles rehab and a 2020/21 return.

According to Youngmisuk, Beal is considering health factors too as he weighs his options.

“I have yet to make (my decision),” Beal told reporters on Wednesday. “I am still working my tail off every single day as if I am playing. It is more or less a decision that will come down to the medical staff and coming back from zero to 100, and then I have some nagging stuff from the end of the year that we are trying to clean up, too. We are looking at it from all angles. I am definitely working out every single day here. It is good to be back in the facility. … I am not swayed one way or another.”

Here’s more on certain players’ participation decisions:

Grizzlies Sign Jontay Porter To Multi-Year Deal

The Grizzlies have signed rookie forward/center Jontay Porter to a multi-year contract, the team announced in a press release on Sunday.

The deal is guaranteed through this season and contains a team option for the 2020/21 season, Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic tweets. Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian adds (via Twitter) that Porter will earn a league-minimum salary.

Porter, the younger brother of Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., has progressed well in his rehab from two separate knee injuries and is projected to be ready by training camp in the fall, the release states. Memphis will use Jarrod Uthoff‘s roster spot to sign Porter, with Uthoff’s 10-day deal recently expiring.

Porter, 20, went undrafted last June after spending multiple seasons at Missouri. Despite the fact that he tore his ACL multiple times during his college career, he was still viewed by ESPN as a top-50 prospect when he declared for the draft last April.

Northwest Notes: O’Neale, Jazz, Nuggets, Wolves

While the Jazz‘ 2019 playoff run was short-lived, Royce O’Neale‘s performance in the team’s five-game series vs. Houston was encouraging. A role player who averaged 20.4 minutes per game during the regular season, O’Neale increased his averages across the board against the Rockets, recording 10.6 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 27.4 MPG.

The 25-year-old forward was also frequently tasked with the defensive assignment of guarding James Harden, and said that the MVP candidate gave him words of “encouragement and motivation” at the end of the series, as Aaron Falk of UtahJazz.com details.

“Just goes to show all the hard work that I’ve put in isn’t taken for granted,” O’Neale said. “A lot of people are showing respect when it’s due. Earning that respect from him was one of the good moments. It made me feel like I’m becoming somebody in this league.”

The Jazz enter the offseason prepared to make some changes to a roster that hasn’t been able to get over the hump in the playoffs over the last two years. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll part ways with O’Neale, despite the fact that his 2019/20 salary is non-guaranteed — at a rate of $1,618,520, he’ll likely be one of the league’s better bargains next season.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

Draft Notes: Reid, Waters, Childs, Porter

There’s “no chance” Naz Reid returns to LSU, as the prospect tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium Sports (Twitter link). Reid’s teammate Tremont Waters will also remain in the draft. Waters and Reid are the 47th and 48th prospect, according to ESPN.

  • BYU’s Yoeli Childs will remain in the draft, per Goodman (Twitter link). Childs is not listed in ESPN’s top 100.
  • Jontay Porter will not return to Missouri instead electing to remain in the draft, Goodman tweets. Porter is still recovering from a knee injury.
  • Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort tells Goodman (Twitter link) that he is “100 percent” staying in the NBA Draft. Dort is No. 27 on ESPN’s draft board.

Full List Of 2019 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed its list of 66 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from May 15-19.

While a small handful of top prospects often skip the event, that won’t be the case this year — Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are on the league’s list of 66 names, along with R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Darius Garland, De’Andre Hunter, and many more. Of course, those top prospects may not participate fully in all of the workouts and scrimmages at the combine.

A few more names figure to be added to this list, as a select number of the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp earlier in the week are expected to receive invites to the combine.

Here’s the full list of 66 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech (sophomore)
  2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke (freshman)
  3. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (freshman)
  4. Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS (OH) (N/A)
  5. Bol Bol, C, Oregon (freshman)
  6. Jordan Bone, G, Tennessee (junior)
  7. Brian Bowen, F, USA (born 1998)
  8. Ky Bowman, G, Boston College (junior)
  9. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan (freshman)
  10. Moses Brown, C, UCLA (freshman)
  11. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  12. Nicolas Claxton, F, Georgia (sophomore)
  13. Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  14. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  15. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas (freshman)
  16. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue (junior)
  17. Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland (sophomore)
  18. Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas (sophomore)
  19. Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Kansas (freshman)
  21. Kyle Guy, G, Virginia (junior)
  22. Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  23. Jaxson Hayes, F/C, Texas (freshman)
  24. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  25. Jaylen Hoard, F, Wake Forest (freshman)
  26. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State (freshman)
  27. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  28. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia (junior)
  29. Cameron Johnson, G, UNC (senior)
  30. Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  31. Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State (sophomore)
  32. Louis King, F, Oregon (freshman)
  33. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana (freshman)
  34. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas (junior)
  35. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (NH) (N/A)
  36. Nassir Little, F, UNC (freshman)
  37. Charles Matthews, G, Michigan (junior)
  38. Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State (sophomore)
  39. Ja Morant, G, Murray State (sophomore)
  40. Zach Norvell Jr., G, Gonzaga (sophomore)
  41. Jaylen Nowell, G, Washington (sophomore)
  42. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville (sophomore)
  43. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn (sophomore)
  44. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford (sophomore)
  45. Miye Oni, G/F, Yale (junior)
  46. Eric Paschall, F, Villanova (senior)
  47. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s (junior)
  48. Jordan Poole, G, Michigan (sophomore)
  49. Jontay Porter, F, Missouri (sophomore)
  50. Kevin Porter Jr, G, USC (freshman)
  51. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (freshman)
  52. Cam Reddish, F, Duke (freshman)
  53. Naz Reid, C, LSU (freshman)
  54. Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska (junior)
  55. Luka Samanic, F, Croatia (born 2000)
  56. Admiral Schofield, G, Tennessee (senior)
  57. Simisola Shittu, F, Vanderbilt (freshman)
  58. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga (junior)
  59. PJ Washington, F, Kentucky (sophomore)
  60. Tremont Waters, G, LSU (sophomore)
  61. Quinndary Weatherspoon, G, Missippi State (senior)
  62. Coby White, G, UNC (freshman)
  63. Kris Wilkes, G, UCLA (sophomore)
  64. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee (junior)
  65. Zion Williamson, F, Duke (freshman)
  66. Dylan Windler, G, Belmont (senior)

Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga) and Matisse Thybulle (Washington) are among the potential first-round picks who aren’t on the NBA’s list of combine participants, as noted by Jeremy Woo of SI.com and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter links).

Missouri’s Jontay Porter Declares For Draft

Missouri big man Jontay Porter has declared for the draft, he announced on Friday (via Twitter).

Porter is currently ranked No. 42 on ESPN Jonathan Givony’s Top 100 prospects list and probably would be significantly higher if not for serious knee issues. Porter missed his sophomore season after tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee in October. He tore the same ACL again in March and had another surgery.

“In all honesty, I was impatient and completely naïve to think I was ready to get back on the court and play before I was cleared to (play),” he said in an Instagram post last month. “Word to the wise — never disobey doctor’s orders! I know I won’t make that mistake twice and will be back better than ever.”

In his freshman season, the 6’1’1” Porter averaged 9.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.2 APG and 1.7 BPG in 24.5 MPG while appearing in 33 games.

Porter explored his draft stock last year but decided to return to school. Michael Porter Jr., Jontay’s older brother, was drafted by the Nuggets with the 14th overall pick but didn’t appear in a game this season after undergoing back surgery.

Jontay Porter Suffers Another Torn ACL

Missouri’s Jontay Porter, who was projected as a possible first-round pick despite missing the season with torn ligaments in his right knee, recently re-tore his ACL, writes Alex Schiffer of The Kansas City Star.

The 6’11” sophomore tested the draft waters a year ago before deciding to return to the Tigers. He was projected as the 13th pick in a mock draft that ESPN’s Jonathan Givony compiled in August, but suffered a tear to his ACL and MCL in a preseason scrimmage. Despite the injuries, Porter was 25th in a mock draft put together by Givony and Mike Schmitz this week.

Porter was rehabbing the knee in Denver when the latest setback took place, according to Schiffer. Sources said the tear happened while Porter was on the court working out, rather than through rehab. Schiffer states that it’s not clear if Porter has been approved for on-court activities.

Porter was named co-Sixth Man of the Year in the Southeastern Conference as a freshman, averaging 9.9 PPG. He reclassified and skipped his senior season of high school to play alongside his brother, Michael Porter, who wound up missing almost the entire season after hurting his back. His health was a major topic of discussion leading up to last year’s draft and he wound up slipping to the Nuggets with the 14th pick.

Jontay Porter hadn’t announced whether he intended to try his luck in the draft again, but this week’s setback could affect his plans.

“I think this latest injury creates a major red flag around his re-torn ACL as far as the health of the knee going forward and his medical status in general,” an NBA scout told Schiffer. “While he had a real chance to be a first-round pick, a lot of teams will have to revisit their needs and priorities. Established playoff contenders may want to really look at him as he can rehab and won’t have to rush back versus a team looking for an immediate impact player.”

Jontay Porter To Miss Season With Knee Injury

Potential 2019 lottery pick Jontay Porter of Missouri will sit out the college basketball season after suffering ACL and MCL tears during a scrimmage Sunday, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN.

The story is similar to what happened to his older brother, Michael Porter Jr., who missed nearly all of last season with the Tigers because of a back injury. Originally considered as a possible No. 1 pick, Porter Jr. slid to the Nuggets with the 14th selection because of concerns about his physical condition.

Jontay Porter is projected at No. 13 in the latest mock draft compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He declared for the draft last spring after his freshman season, but decided to return to school.

A 6’11” power forward, Porter averaged 9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks a year ago. He was a second-team choice on the all-SEC team released last week.

“Thanks to everyone who reached out,” Porter tweeted yesterday. “It’s hard to stay positive in the midst of something like this but everything happens for a reason.”

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.