Brother of Nuggets star pleads guilty, facing jail time over massive betting scandal

Toronto Raptors v Denver Nuggets
Toronto Raptors v Denver Nuggets / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

Things are fast moving in the NBA and a lot of dramatic events have taken place involving the Denver Nuggets over the past few months. The team saw their title defense end in the second round of the playoffs when they blew a 20-point second-half lead at home in game 7 to the Timberwolves.

The team traded six 2nd-round picks to draft DaRon Holmes II and dump Reggie Jackson to the Hornets. They saw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope leave in free agency. They signed Dario Saric from the Warriors. They’ve been connected to Russell Westbrook in all kinds of rumors. And lately, there have been rumblings about some uncertainty about Jamal Murray’s contract extension.

Michael Porter Jr. had reason to be distracted during the playoffs

With all of the fanfare surrounding the team in the news cycles, it’s easy to forget the drama surrounding the team as they started their playoff run, specifically involving Michael Porter Jr. and his brothers. There were varying degrees of legal controversy around three separate brothers of MPJ and though none of it had to do with Michael, it would be hard to say just how much he may have been distracted.

The most noteworthy incident involved his brother Jontay Porter who was accused of direct involvement in a gambling scandal and banned for life from the NBA. Porter was on a two-way deal with the Raptors when the news broke and he was accused of betting on games, including against the Raptors, and manipulating outcomes and giving inside information to gamblers.

Jontay Porter pleads guilty in court

On Wednesday Porter pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and admitted his involvement and wrongdoing. Porter’s lawyer explained that Jontay had a gambling problem and needed to pay off a debt. Now he’s looking at a sentence of up to 20 years.

His sentence is scheduled for December 18th and prosecutors estimated a 3 ½  to 4 year jail sentence, but the judge will make the final decision. Michael Porter Jr. had a very tough series against the T-Wolves and has seen his name in trade rumors this offseason as many wonder about the viability of his contract going forward with the Nuggets’ prohibitive cap situation. 

It’s not fair to say that this situation was looming over MPJ and led to his poor performance, but it’s also fair to wonder what he was going through mentally and emotionally during the playoffs. Hopefully, this is the end of this unfortunate story and MPJ will have a great bounceback season for the Nuggets in 2024-25.