Is Michael Porter Jr. Worth the Tank?

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 7: Michael Porter Jr.
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 7: Michael Porter Jr. /

With Michael Porter Jr. predicted to enter the 2018 NBA Draft, should this season be the year that the Mavericks give in to tanking? The short answer…yes.

According to ESPN’s Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE projection system, the Dallas Mavericks will win 34.6 games this season, putting them in 11th place in the Western Conference. Furthermore, it should be noted that the lowest projected win total went to the Atlanta Hawks with 27.0 wins.

So, the question to ask is this: Why not “put some younger guys in” for seven to ten games when one of the highest-rated prospects in history is about to be on the draft board?

That player, Michael Porter Jr., might just be worth the sacrifice.

Currently playing at the University of Missouri, Michael Porter Jr. came out of high school as one of the most promising, talented players that people have ever seen.

In his senior year of high school, MPJ averaged 37.0 points and 14.3 rebounds per game. Also, Michael shot an incredible 93.8% from the free throw line, not to mention 69.7% from three-point range.

Michael Porter Jr.
CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 29: Michael Porter Jr. /

The Man

If drafted, Michael Porter Jr. fits perfectly on a younger looking Mavericks’ offense.  With Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes leading the team for foreseeable future, Porter would only add to the insane athleticism and youth already in Dallas.

At 6-feet-10-inches, MPJ is listed at a small forward. Although, he has the ability to play positions one through four on the court and could even allow Harrison Barnes to have a much more natural, flexible role on the team.

This player is not someone who needs to develop. This is a player who dropped 47 points in Jamal Crawford‘s Pro-Am game. This is a player who has played with current NBA players and current G-League players and has not only held his ground but put up incredible numbers.

The drafting of Michael Porter Jr. would not be the start of a rebuild for the Mavericks, but rather the instant creation of a playoff team.

The Plan

Obviously, with the NBA draft lottery system, the #1 pick can’t be guaranteed. However, even if the Mavericks didn’t get the first overall pick, there will still be a ton of talent in the 2018 draft class.

After the reclassification of Marvin Bagley III, MPJ even moved down to the second spot in the 2017 recruitment class. While it is still unsure whether or not Bagley can perform on such a higher level, a Mavericks’ tank season will prove to be one of the most beneficial decisions this franchise has made.

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Now, if Dennis Smith Jr. is able to take this league by storm, the Mavericks should not be looking to tank their way out of a playoff spot, no matter how low. No one knows what the 2017-2018 season has in store for the Mavericks at this point, but Dallas fans shouldn’t be too upset with a poor season given the pot of gold at the other end.