Timberwolves

2019 NBA Combine | Day 2 Notebook

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Here we are from Chicago on Day 2 of the NBA Combine. 

Before we go on, watch this two minute and 14-second video of Gersson Rosas talking about the Combine and Draft. Man, you’ve gotta be excited to have him in charge of this team. 

Also, forgive me for saying ‘here’ twice in three seconds to open the interview. BE BETTER, KYLE!

Now, to the observations.

Jontay Porter Hoping A Team Takes A Chance

Jontay Porter has torn his right ACL twice in the last two years. One in a game, and the second during rehab.

“I’m sure some teams have written me off because of the injuries,” Porter, 19, said. “But some teams will take a chance on me and I’m thankful for that.”

If Porter were healthy, he’d likely be a lottery pick. And who knows? If a team thinks his knees won’t cause long-term problems, he still could be a lottery pick. 

Jontay is the brother of Michael Porter, who fell to the 13th pick in last year’s draft due to a back injury. He didn’t play a single game for the Nuggets this season.

In 33 games as a freshman in 2017-18, Porter averaged 9.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He’s a playmaking big man, who most certainly has a spot in the league with his style of play (he also shot 36.4 percent from the 3-point line).

But if he’s not on the court, of course, he can’t showcase his skills. Porter thinks that these knee injuries will be distant memories when we look back at his NBA career.

“I do think I have healthy knees and they’ll come back 110 percent, but it’s just a matter of time and being patient,” Porter said.

Would Romeo Langford Have Declared Out Of High School? 

Of course, players need to be removed from high school for a year before they can declare for the NBA Draft.

But Indiana guard Romeo Langford, who’s projected to be a mid-first-round pick, was asked if he would have declared for the NBA Draft if he had the chance after graduating high school in 2018.

“I don’t know to be honest. I enjoyed myself in college and learned a lot,” Langford said. It was a good stepping stool for me . . . It would have been great to have the option.”

It’s tricky because obviously the NCAA doesn’t want to be considered a stepping stool in the NBA process, but that’s kind of how the system is geared right now. 

Langford did say that he’s glad he went to Indiana for a year, saying he wasn’t ready for the NBA after high school.

“I just feel like my body matured.”

Langford averaged 16 points per game with Indiana and is a scoring guard, although he shot just 27.7 percent from the 3-point line last season. That’ll be something NBA teams will be curious about moving forward. 

Herro The Sidekick Hero  

Kentucky wing Tyler Herro might never be an NBA star-caliber player, but when you watch him play, it’s obvious there’s a role that he could carve out in the league to be successful for a long time.

Herro shot 35.5 percent from the 3-point line last season and is widely considered one of the better shooters in this draft class. He has an overall high basketball IQ on the offensive side of the ball.

“They just to know what I think I could bring to a team, obvious my spacing, my shooting, and my offensive skillset,” Herro said.

Herro understands what his role could be at the next level. It would be to surround himself on a team in need of spreading the floor, something a team like the Wolves could use.  

“I think that’s one thing that teams need to build around their stars. Spacing to allow them to operate,” Herro said.

Fun times at the NBA Combine. We had to dip out a little early on Friday to make it to the airport for our flight. 

We’ll have our prospect profiles up next week, along with updated big boards and version 1.0 of our mock draft.

We have a fun month ahead of us. 

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