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USC shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr. is climbing the draft charts, several sources passed along to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
“He has the gifts to be a top-five pick — easily,” one executive told Charania of Porter.
Porter was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and became the first such player to sign with USC since DeMar DeRozan, now of the San Antonio Spurs. But Porter suffered a quadriceps contusion early in the season, then was suspended for “personal conduct issues” after returning.
So his one year in college got off to a rough start.
Porter was viewed as a potential top-five draft pick before the season, then seemed to drop to the late teens or even all the way to the late 20s. But apparently, his draft stock is on the rise once again.
He has been interviewed by the Cleveland Cavaliers (picks Nos. 5 and 26) and worked out for the Atlanta Hawks (picks Nos. 8, 10 and 17). He pulled out of an appearance to work out for the Washington Wizards, drafting No. 9 overall, over the weekend.
Porter showed flashes of NBA-level scoring ability late in the year. Scouts particularly like his athleticism and smarts. What seems to be up for debate is his overall level of motivation.