More signs point to Nuggets prioritizing Michael Porter Jr.'s long-term health over playing next season

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/den" data-ylk="slk:Denver Nuggets">Denver Nuggets</a> forward <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaab/players/141191/" data-ylk="slk:Michael Porter Jr">Michael Porter Jr</a>. discusses the team’s approach to his health Tuesday. (Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. discusses the team’s approach to his health Tuesday. (Getty Images)

The Denver Nuggets selected Michael Porter Jr. with the No. 14 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, taking on a risk many teams with lottery selections shied away from.

At the time, there was talk that Porter could possibly miss the NBA Summer League (and even the 2018-19 season) due to his continued rehab from back surgery he underwent back in November. Even now, that talk remains.

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In a radio interview Tuesday on the Doug Gottlieb Show, Porter discussed his health and how Denver is approaching it.

“They’ve just told me: ‘Our primary concern is to get you all the way healthy,'” Porter said. “When that happens, you’re going to be a great player, but we don’t want to skip steps and don’t want to put you out there when you’re not 100 percent.’ It all depends on what they think and how well I progress.” 

Also on Tuesday, the Nuggets traded forward Wilson Chandler to the Philadelphia 76ers. The move spoke to the Nuggets’ commitment to Porter, as well as their commitment to make sure Porter is healthy.

The former Missouri forward played 2 minutes and 7 seconds in the season-opening game last year, before walking to the bench. Weeks later, back in November, he announced he was undergoing a microdiscectomy surgery.

While Porter returned in the NCAA Tournament, his health remained an issue. Ahead of the NBA Draft even, a report surfaced that he was suffering hip pain and was unable to get out of bed.

Still, throughout the process, Porter has remained confident — including his attitude in his most recent interview.

“Knowing me, I’m going to do everything I can to get back as soon as I possibly can,” Porter said. “I’m ready to be on the floor and compete and play.

“I’m looking forward to that.”

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