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Michael Porter Jr. Could Take NBA 'Redshirt' Year, Per Report

Michael Porter Jr. wearing his Missouri uniform.

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16: Michael Porter Jr. #13 of the Missouri Tigers looks on against the Florida State Seminoles during the game in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Even after an injury-plagued 2017-18 season, Michael Porter Jr. is probably going to be a top 10 pick during Thursday's NBA Draft. When he makes his actual NBA debut may be a question, though.

Porter missed all but three games during his lone season at Missouri due to a back injury that required surgery on two discs. He went down minutes into the team's season opener against Iowa State.

Porter did surprisingly return at the end of the year, and played in the Tigers' SEC Tournament game against Georgia and NCAA Tournament game against Florida State, both losses. He was highly inefficient, and it really wasn't a great representation of the game that Mizzou fans thought they'd be getting from the 6-foot-10 wing.

Last week, Porter canceled a "pro day" in Chicago, after reportedly suffering from a strained hip and muscle spasms. It is unclear how it has affected his stock, but the injury questions have resurfaced.

ESPN NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony reports that there is no guarantee that Michael Porter Jr. plays next year.

He joined the Jason & John Show on 92.9 ESPN Radio in Memphis to discuss Porter's status. He hears that teams may consider "redshirting" him, in an attempt to allow him to fully recover from his injury issues.

Redshirting may not be a trend yet, but there are two very recent examples of it working out pretty well. Both come courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Joel Embiid missed the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons after being the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He played sparingly as a rookie in 2016-17, and then broke out this year to reach his first All-Star Game.

The Sixers handled Ben Simmons in a similar way. After taking him No. 1 overall in 2016, he missed his entire first year in the league, before becoming a superstar as a rookie in 2017-18.

Porter may not turn into that level of player. However, if a team takes him early, and doesn't need him to compete for the playoffs, it may not be a bad long-term plan.