2018 NBA Mock Draft: What if Memphis wins the lottery?

BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Rawle Alkins
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Rawle Alkins /
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18. player. 29. . C. Missouri. Jontay Porter

Wouldn’t this just be terrific? Regardless of the end game to the Kawhi Leonard saga that unfolded in San Antonio this season, the Spurs will have to reformulate their roster going into next season if they hope to compete in the Western Conference. Jontay Porter brings an element the Spurs tend to covet more than other teams, in addition to the team being a in a better position to develop big man talent than most in the league.

It’s just that Gregg Popovich would tinker with Porter until he found an offensive system that maximized him. Popovich knows talent when he sees it, and I think even as a rookie Porter could make plays as a floor-spacer and passer. Porter could go much higher or lower than this depending on how playable his defense looks during the draft process. But if he is available at this spot, the Spurs would have to think hard about making him their third big man behind Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Porter’s defense will be a problem wherever he ends up, but when you have wing defenders like Leonard (we’ll see) and Dejounte Murray capable of picking up the slack and creating negative situations for the offense, Porter can be hidden.

On offense, he can become one of the most effective youngsters in the league if he models his game after Kelly Olynyk, Patrick Patterson and other switchable, sweet-shooting bigs. The Spurs will be there to guide him through their system. If Porter’s career goes well, he will more valuable than any of those guys.