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Kevin Porter Jr. Commercial Assessments: Rockets Swing at Low Risk at Home as Cavaliers Prioritize Culture



Kevin Porter Jr. trades with the Houston Rockets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Cleveland Cavaliers will receive a defensive choice from the second round of the deal. Porter, the best number 30 in the 2019 NBA Draft, spent his season as a rookie in Cleveland, but has not played this season due to personal problems.

Initially, Porter dropped to number 30 largely due to character concerns. He was charged with punching a woman in August, according to a Cleveland.com report, and was arrested in November on suspicion of possession of a weapon and marijuana. Porter reportedly had an outburst after his locker was moved to another section of the locker room earlier this week, leading to Cleveland̵

7;s decision to either trade or release him.

Porter had a very promising rookie season. He averaged 10 points in 44 percent shooting, but scored more than 14 points per game from late January to early March, when he had more time to play. At the time, he did enough to consider whether he, and not Darius Garland’s choice of number 5, was the right long-term partner for Colin Sexton in Cleveland.

Now he will join the suddenly crowded back of the Rockets. Currently, the starting places are occupied by John Wall and Victor Oladipo, and veteran Eric Gordon has also been confirmed. That leaves Porter competing with players like Mason Jones, Ben McLamer and Daniel House for spare minutes.

But Houston is unlikely to fight James Harden, who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. Undertaking high-risk, high-reward changes on young people is usually a sensible move in such circumstances. On paper, this is the kind that the Missiles have to take. We saw flashes of his potential in Cleveland. Now the Rockets will hope to find a more consistent production than the former first-round pick. This is how both teams ranked in the deal.

Cleveland Cavaliers: C-

Ignoring the circumstances, this result is a complete disaster for Cleveland. The Cavs received 50 games from Porter. They traded four second-round picks and $ 5 million in cash to take number 30 and take it. Now they get only one choice. Cleveland is not Oklahoma City or New Orleans. Kobe Altman does not sit on a pile of assets that he can burn in his spare time. Losing all of that choice to someone who eventually had to be thrown away is a significant loss.

But given where Cleveland is after a surprise start of 7-7 in 14 games, this is a justified loss. It was supposed to be a recovery season and the recovery seasons offer a certain amount of patience. Cavs from last season may have been able to work with Porter through his releases. But with the explosion of Garland and Sexton and a sudden stellar defense, Cleveland seems to prioritize culture over talent. This is a reasonable choice. Garland, based on his previous game, proved his place as a longtime starter in Cleveland. This made disposing of Porter, despite his harsh abilities, an easier pill to swallow. The Cavs will not want security help soon.

But accountability is universal, and now a young team has seen first-hand what happens when someone doesn’t enter the program. This is still a bad result for a young team that is still far from the real controversy, but the Cavs managed to make the lemonade from these lemons.

Houston Rockets: B +

Here we must begin with the obvious warning. Porter’s situation is confused. The lack of demand for his services made sense given the charges against him. That would have been enough to protect him from several teams, and what happened in the locker room earlier this week didn’t exactly help. This assessment is based purely on the course as a basketball transaction and is a reasonable addition to this arena.

Houston currently has a crowded field. This can change quickly. The widespread belief around the league is that Victor Oladipo will leave the Rockets in a free agency. If the Rockets continue to quarrel, they could easily turn it into a deadline that brings more capital withdrawals and opens up minutes. If this is indeed the path that the Rockets are pursuing, it would hint at a full recovery over the next few seasons. This is a wise course of action. Houston controlled its choice for the first round in 2022 and 2023, but not in 2024, 2025 or 2026. The missiles are encouraged to be as bad as possible in this two-year window, so until they start sending peaks to the Thunder they have the long-term your core.

A good way to be bad is to take minutes to develop young players. Porter’s head players are rarely offered for the price Houston paid. In an ideal world, he would struggle with his growing pain over the next few seasons and grow into a man capable of helping the Rockets win as the thunder began to collect on its debt. There is no guarantee that he will ever overcome the problems that Cleveland trades him with, but for a protected second round Houston does not need him. They can cut it by investing very little if the need arises.

At the moment, the Rockets are not exactly the picture of stability, but James Harden does not. Theoretically, they can move into a period of relative normalcy now that he has left, and swinging on talented youngsters is something that normal recovery teams do. Porter may have benefited from a stronger culture, but if the teams that could provide such an environment are interested, he will probably play for one right now. Houston was the team that wanted him. This shows a willingness to make the necessary commitment to its growth, and given the playing time that is likely to become available soon, this is a chance for something like a clean start in a team with low expectations. That’s about as much as Porter can ask for right now.




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