Michael Porter Jr., the second-best recruit in the 2017 class, is the latest to hail from the Pacific Northwest and his potential is off the charts.
In the 247Sports composite rankings, only Deandre Ayton is ranked higher than Porter, and I’m sure debates ensue over who deserves to be first in the class. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. Both are incredible players who will put together solid NBA careers if everything goes well, but Porter’s development has expedited because of the immense talent coming from that area.
A senior at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Porter originally came from Columbia, Missouri, and was recently named a McDonald’s All-American and has excelled under head coach Brandon Roy — yes, that Brandon Roy. His superstar forward is widely regarded as the best scorer in high school, and he’ll be continuing his basketball career at the University of Washington this fall.
Although he wasn’t born in the state, Porter’s spent enough time there to figure out what Pacific Northwest basketball is all about, and Washington state has a myriad of excellent players in the league today.
Along with Brandon Roy, who, unfortunately, needed to retire prematurely, John Stockton was born in Spokane, and he has the privilege of being the only Hall of Famer from Washington state.
Also Read: How Great Could Brandon Roy Have Been?
Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson and Jason Terry are three of the most recognizable hoopers, and they’re more or less the guys who helped put Washington back on the NBA map. Once the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, the eyes turned away, and the exciting style of play from the trio mentioned above gave us all a reason to keep tabs on the Northwest.
Terry and Crawford have spent 18 and 17 years, respectively, in the league, and they’re witnesses to the new crop of talent that’s beginning to flood the NBA. Crawford has even been a regular at the Seattle Pro-Am, which is one of the most competitive and entertaining of its kind.
Isaiah Thomas is doing things the NBA has never seen a short player do before. He’s turned into one of the league’s most lethal scorers, most clutch players and an MVP candidate while with the Boston Celtics. He was born and raised in Tacoma and is just one year older than Avery Bradley.
Before becoming a big-time recruit, Bradley relocated to Nevada and attended Findlay Prep. He was ranked fourth overall in his class, went to the University of Texas for one year and has evolved into a player who’s surpassed all expectations coming out of college.
The latest guy to breakout is Zach LaVine, and he’s no longer solely a high flyer. LaVine, much like Thomas, played high school ball in Washington before moving to sunny Los Angeles. After two full years in the NBA, the slam dunk champion is a legitimate threat to go for 20 on any given night thanks to his new-found three-point stroke, and, of course, no one can forget about his effortless flying ability.
Because of his collection of skills and physicals, Porter has a chance to be mentioned alongside all these guys in the not-so-distant future. He’s somewhere around 6-10 and can put the ball on the floor, shoot from the perimeter and isn’t a bad athlete for his size. Furthermore, he’s the highest-ranked recruit to come out of Washington since Tony Wroten was ranked 19 in 2011 by 247Sports.
There isn’t any pressure, but such hype means a ton of eyes will be on him.
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