The Houston Rockets are acquiring former first-round pick Kevin Porter Jr. from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kevin Porter Jr.’s name has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this week. He was taken in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019 and looked solid in his rookie season. Then came this season.
Porter could not get on the floor due to personal issues and reportedly threw a tantrum in the locker room last week, causing the team to open up trade talks for the 20-year-old. It appears the Houston Rockets are going to take a chance on the young man, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Kevin Porter Jr. heading to Rockets
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski went on to explain the Rockets are sending a future, protected second-round pick in exchange for Porter. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports the pick is top-55 protected, which means it’s unlikely to ever convey.
Woj sums it up perfectly in saying the former first-rounder is going to be a reclamation project. The Cavs did not make this trade to improve their team now. They did it to get Porter off the books and free up a roster spot.
This is a sad end to his time in Cleveland. He showed so much promise last season and appeared to be a player to build around alongside Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Dylan Windler. Instead, he is a 20-year-old looking for a second chance in the NBA.
The Rockets have nothing to lose by making this trade. The best-case scenario is Porter turns things around and lives up to the potential he showed as a rookie. The worst thing that could happen is he can’t figure things out and is simply let go.
Porter averaged 10 points per game as a rookie in a reserve role. The problem has been his behavior, which has followed him from his time at USC. Perhaps this trade can be a wake-up call and he can turn his life and career around.
No one should want to see such a young player ruin his career. Hopefully, the Rockets have a plan in place to get Porter on the right track.