Denver Nuggets Say Michael Porter Jr. is “Untouchable” This Offseason

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  • The Denver Nuggets have declared Michael Porter Jr. as “untouchable” this offseason.
  • Porter averaged 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2019-20 season.
  • However, he was named to the All NBA Seeding Games Second Team after an impressive performance in Orlando.

Denver Nuggets fans can now start buying Michael Porter Jr. jerseys. That’s because MPJ isn’t going anywhere this offseason.

The Denver Nuggets have put their 2018 lottery pick among their list of untouchables. According to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Nuggets have made it clear that Porter isn’t available in any trade talks.

Porter was among Denver’s key performers in Orlando but his injury history and controversial comments during the playoffs could have affected his value in coach Mike Malone’s rotation. Unfortunately for other teams, those were just rumors. Michael Porter Jr. is staying put in Denver.

Key Performer in Orlando

Porter took his game to the next level in the Orlando Bubble. After a decent regular season, Porter shone during the seeding games at the Walt Disney World Resort. He averaged 22.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and one steal per game while shooting 55.1% from the field.

Porter scored a career-high 37 points on August 3rd and then followed that up with a 30-point effort in his next game. Porter would finish 15th in scoring among all players at Disney World and he would end up getting named to the All-Seeding Game Second Team along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Kristaps Porzingis, and Caris LeVert.

Overall, Porter averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game during the 2020 playoffs. He shot 38.2% from three-point range during the postseason and hit some big shots for the Nuggets during their run to the Western Conference Finals. He was a key performer during Denver’s comeback from a 3-1 series deficit to the L.A. Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.

Controversy During the Playoffs

Porter’s success in Orlando was not without controversy. He was at the center of the storm during the Western Conference semifinals after he criticized coach Mike Malone’s play-calling after their Game 4 loss to the Clippers. He complained that he didn’t touch the ball after a big first half and lamented that the Nuggets need to get more guys involved in the offense.

MPJ got plenty of negative feedback for his comments but instead of dwelling on the issue, Porter let his game do the talking by hitting a big three-point shot which sealed the Nuggets’ 111-105 win. He would go on to score 13 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to help Denver tie the series at three games apiece.

All seemed to end well as he averaged 23 minutes per game against the Lakers while scoring in double figures in four out of the five games of the series. Porter averaged 12.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 57.3% from the field and 43.3% from deep during the Western Conference Finals.

Big Steal For Denver

The Nuggets took a gamble with Porter during the 2018 NBA Draft given his injury history. But that gambit seemed to have paid off with Porter breaking out during the bubble tournament. Now that he is healthy, Denver would like to keep him given the potential he showed during the playoffs.

The Nuggets are coming off a season where they reached the Conference Finals and lost to the eventual champions Los Angeles Lakers. They are currently 4th in the odds board to win the Western Conference in 2021 at +1200. Denver is also 8th in the oddsboard to win the NBA title at +2000.

With Porter definitely staying, he cane develop into the consistent third scorer that the team needs to back-up their superstar duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Hopefully, if MPJ can stay healthy, he will continue to develop his game and prove that he is the big steal of the 2018 draft for the Nuggets.

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