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THE DENVER NUGGETS SELECT MICHAEL PORTER JR. WITH THE 14th PICK OF THE 2018 NBA DRAFT
Denver also acquires the draft rights to Jarred Vanderbilt and selects Thomas Welsh with the 58th pick
DENVER, June 21, 2018 – The Denver Nuggets selected forward Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th overall pick in tonight’s 2018 NBA Draft. Denver also acquired the draft rights to forward Jarred Vanderbilt at 41st overall from Orlando in exchange for the 43rd pick and a future second round pick and also selected center Thomas Welsh with the 58th pick.
Porter Jr., 6-10, 215, signed with the University of Missouri as the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit as a high school senior out of Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington. Porter Jr. averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior while leading Nathan Hale to a perfect 29-0 record en route to the Washington Class 3A State Championship, the first-ever state title for the school.
The 19-year-old native of Indianapolis was named the MVP of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game as well as winning both the Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year awards, joining Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Chris Webber (1991) and Alonzo Mourning (1988) as the only players to ever accomplish the feat. Porter Jr. was named a 2017-18 consensus preseason All-American, the 2017-18 preseason ESPN National Freshman of the Year and the 2017-18 preseason SEC Co-Player of the Year before a back injury limited him to just three games during his debut campaign.
Vanderbilt, 6-9, 214, appeared in 14 games as a freshman for Kentucky, averaging 5.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 17.0 minutes per game. The 19-year-old from Houston averaged 28.5 points, 13.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists as a senior at Victory Prep School. Vanderbilt played for the USA Junior National Select Team at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit and was also a member of the U.S. U16 National Team that won Gold at the 2015 FIBA U16 Americas.
Welsh, 7-0, 255, played four seasons at UCLA where he averaged 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting 53.7% from the field. He was one of five finalists for the 2017-18 Kareem Abdul-Jabar award, given to the nation’s top center, and finished his Bruins career ranked third in career rebounds (1,035), third in blocks (143) and sixth in career double-doubles (37). As a senior the California native posted averages of 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 40.7% from three (45-of-112 3FG) and 82.8% from the free throw line. His 10.8 rebounds per game was UCLA’s highest per game average since David Greenwood in 1977-78.