Kevin Porter Jr: On-Ball Offense
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite.
For the most part, Porter is able to get to his spots efficiently and moves well with the ball in his hands. He has a reliable change-of-pace game and some herky-jerky moves which allow him to do some flashy things on the bounce. However, currently, his ball-handling will be a limiting factor to his NBA success. His dribble moves often take him east-west rather than north-south, creating room for his pull-up instead of preparing dribble drives. His handle tends to be somewhat high and loose, which can lead to turnovers. While he has some flashy moves, these tend to be more sizzle than steak, with his dribbles not accomplishing as much as they should. This is best highlighted by his inability to attack the rim effectively despite having all the physical tools required to do so. However, this will improve with NBA-level spacing and an offense that features more high pick-and-roll. His ability in space is clear when he attacks in transition.
Although not a great passer, Porter is still able to use the attention he draws to create looks for others. He gets in bad spots at times, not so much because of tunnel vision, but rather due to overconfidence in his ability to squeeze through tight spots. At times his passing is unfocused. He has a tendency to float or telegraph passes, allowing help defenders to create deflections or steals. He is not a natural-feel passer, but he is not a selfish player, either. He has flashed the ability to find cutters and shooters while driving. His on-ball scoring prowess affords him a relatively high rate of easy passing opportunities. His passing is best in transition and early offense situations against an imbalanced defense, hitting rim-runners and trailers effectively.
Shooting off the dribble
The pull-up jumper will be the skill that gets Porter drafted in the lottery. He is great at creating airspace to get his shot off. He is a very confident shooter who can get into his shooting motion smoothly, and his deadly step back is already an NBA-caliber weapon. He is capable of making tough shots. He is a bit too in love with this skill, often settling for jumpers instead of getting into the paint. Further, he has a tendency to shoot off backward momentum frequently, even though his step-back is more effective when he harnesses that momentum and balances himself prior to the shot. Combined with a low release and flat arc on his shot, there is some question whether he will be efficient from NBA range. However, there is no doubt that he will be able to create this shot at the NBA level.
Finishing off the dribble
A strong area in transition, Porter is an explosive presence at the rim, drawing contact and finishing well. If he can’t finish with a dunk, has good touch around the rim. He is able to change pace and utilize his shoulders to protect the ball and create scoring angles. He is a fearless attacker who is dangerous in space, able to change pace and angles on a dime. He is good at back footing defenders at an NCAA level, but doesn’t quite have the tools to blow by NBA players yet. In the half court, he seems to be much more hesitant to attack the rim and doesn't use all of his open court skills to put defenders at a disadvantage. His high dribble combined with the lack of spacing at USC likely holds him back in this department. His transition success shows he has the tools, but he will have to learn to utilize them when the game slows down.
Finishing in the post
While not a part of his game currently (he is often sharing the court with one or two space hogs), Porter has the frame to be able to add a post-up game. He has good length, can score off of a step back and uses his size to his advantage. He should be able to add a quick post against smaller guards to his arsenal.