Jontay Porter: Role

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Strengths

  • Excellent spot-up shooter

  • Provides quality secondary playmaking as a passer

  • Great length to challenge shots and rebound

  • High IQ player on both ends who tends to be in the right spot

  • Elite on-court communicator

Weaknesses

  • Size may be a limiting factor when guarding NBA bigs

  • Plays like an NBA wing, but with the quickness of a big

  • Can switch but below average lateral quickness might be a limiting factor

  • Up and down motor

  • ACL injury

Offensive role at missouri

During his freshman season at Missouri (regrettably, some of the only high-level tape we have on him), Jontay Porter was primarily used as a secondary facilitator and a floor spacer. He is an excellent pick-and-pop player who uses brush screens and smooth footwork to his advantage. He has tremendous length and uses it well, making his jump shot difficult to contest. While he is a much more accomplished shooter than roller, he has great IQ identifying bad switches and drawing fouls while moving downhill. Porter provides great value spacing the floor and drawing opposing big men out of the paint, which opened up lanes for Missouri’s guards to penetrate. He saw limited transition opportunities while playing at Missouri, something which will likely change at an NBA level.

Offensive role projection -

Pick-and-pop threat

Porter was effective in his limited offensive role as a reserve for the Tigers, but his skill set is much more conducive to an NBA-style game (thus the tremendous amount of excitement for him among draft geeks). He is a floor spacer who makes good decisions with the basketball, both along the perimeter and when moving downhill as a roller. One of the most cerebral players in the draft, Porter is a quality passer from all three levels. He isn’t the type of player you would run your offense through all game long, but his great vision and eye for mismatches make him a potent secondary creator. He isn’t a flashy passer, but his willingness to create for others and pass within an offensive system will make him an early contributor for teams who value off-ball movement and side-to-side action. His post-up ability is icing on the cake; he is willing to exploit mismatches and has a nice array of moves but doesn’t rise and fall on his ability to score as a back-to-the-basket player. While in college he saw very little transition opportunity, the combination of practiced footwork and high-IQ spacing gives him value as a trail man. He also has shown a quality handle, putting the ball on the floor in transition and when attacking closeouts. As a multifaceted offensive player, Porter will garner plenty of interest over his unique skill set.

Defensive role at Missouri

Porter was a solid defender during his single season at Mizzou. While primarily coming off the bench limited the amount of tape we have against the highest level of competition, we managed to see a role develop for the young big man. He is an excellent position rebounder, using his high IQ and great length to close out defensive possessions. While his athleticism is somewhat lacking compared to his NCAA counterparts, he manages to find ways to challenge and alter shots without being an explosive leaper. One major area of concern in his college tape comes from switching on the perimeter and closing out shooters. If he commits to heavily to closing out shooters, he can be left flat-footed after a shot fake and drive. He also is suspect when switching on to quicker guards along the edge.

Defensive role projection -

Team defender

While he might not be the top defensive name teams get excited about in this class, Porter can definitely contribute value on the defensive end of the floor. He is rarely out of position and uses his physical tools to challenge shooters, creating awkward and hurried shots. He also has the ability to bottle up some penetration using his decent lateral quickness and strength. His largest contribution, however, will come from his high defensive IQ. He is a constant communicator, calling out switches and directing traffic while tagging rollers or standing on the rim line watching the backside. He is fantastic and timely in help side rotations and keeps his head and hips on a swivel to address cutters. Porter will struggle against big men with explosive first steps as well as containing penetration when ball handlers are moving downhill. He will succeed slotted alongside other smart defenders in a system which values communication and help.

Why Porter will earn minutes as a rookie

Porter has one of the highest BBIQs in the 2019 class and uses it to his advantage on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he makes excellent assessments of where he has an edge and puts himself in situations to succeed based on his leverage. He shows the ability to screen and then brush out to the perimeter, giving drivers a wide berth. Having bigs who can threaten opposing defense from along the perimeter is in vogue in the NBA, and Jontay is a great spot-up shooter who can also take his man off the dribble if he closes out too hard. He also brings a secondary creation wrinkle to the table which can give teams new avenues of attack. He can run the offense from the top of the key and is also capable of facilitating for teammates from the elbow. On defense, he will stay on the floor because he is a fantastic backline communicator who can direct traffic. Many rookies take time adjusting to a new scheme, but Jontay has displayed mental acuity and flexibility which makes us believe he is capable of making the transition earlier than the average player. He will also be a deterrent around the rim who can challenge and alter shots without fouling, an often-underrated defensive skill.

Why Porter’s minutes may be limited as a rookie

The largest limiting factor to Jontay’s playing time will be his lack of high-level athleticism. While he has the intelligence and physical tools (namely length) to overcome a lack of true explosiveness as a runner and leaper, he will find himself in situations against certain players where he is overmatched. He hasn’t been an elite finisher in the paint and will need to add to his repertoire to truly hurt teams as a roller or penetrator against NBA defenses, which may limit his early offensive contributions to his (admittedly solid) pick-and-pop game and his ability to pass within a system and create for others.

He also lacks a true position on the defensive end. Against athletic teams, he will struggle to be a full-time rim protector and his lack of quickness compared to NBA guards may find him on the wrong end of some switches. He has been successful at the NCAA level because he is either bigger or quicker than whoever guards him, but the same will not be true in the NBA. What he can contribute defensively will vary wildly from night to night, depending on match ups. His ACL injury cost him his sophomore season and could be a significant hindrance to Porter's ability to stay on the floor, if the effects linger. The situation with his brother Michael is well known and his family has a history of damaging lower body injuries, potentially steering more health-conscious franchises away from the big man on draft night. Getting healthy and showing his recovery process has gone well in the spring will have a significant impact on his draft stock.