Michael Porter Jr. says the Nuggets won't play him until he's 100 percent healthy

2018 NBA Draft

It may have initially come as a surprise that top draft prospect Michael Porter Jr. was picked at number 14 by the Denver Nuggets but recent revelations over his health have made it more understandable.

The 20-year-old's talent is unquestionable but he only played three games in college after undergoing back surgery.

Porter is still struggling with his back problems and it's the main reason why he went from a possible number one pick to as low as 14.

Huge gamble

It was too much of a risk for teams selecting in the top 10 as there were safer options to choose from.

There are doubts about him playing at all next year but this represents a low-risk move for the Nuggets.

After missing out on the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, Denver already has a strong roster and can afford to bide their time with the youngster.

They've already discussed the possibility of shutting him down for the entire year to give him all the time he needs to get healthy.

2018 NBA Draft - Media Availability

In a recent interview on the Doug Gottlieb Show, Porter explained that the franchise's primary concern is his health and they may not get him on the court until he proves he's 100 percent.

“They’ve just told me: ‘Our primary concern is to get you all the way healthy,'” Porter said.

“When that happens, you’re going to be a great player, but we don’t want to skip steps and don’t want to put you out there when you’re not 100 percent.’

"It all depends on what they think and how well I progress.”

Nick Kosmider of The Athletic reports that there's still no timetable for the small forward's return but he has been spending a lot of time in the gym putting up shots.

Denver traded Wilson Chandler to the Philadelphia 76ers this week which shows that they're prepared to see the former Missouri product become a starter in that position.

A lot has been written about his injury problems and if his body will cope with the physical demands of the NBA but Porter has remained confident throughout and that hasn't changed.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Nashville

“Knowing me, I’m going to do everything I can to get back as soon as I possibly can,” Porter said. “I’m ready to be on the floor and compete and play. I’m looking forward to that.”

If he's able to get back healthy, the Nuggets will have a hugely promising player on their hands and it'll give them one of the best starting fives in the league alongside Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray.

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