Days after an outburst in the Cavaliers’ locker room that led reporters to indicate his time in Cleveland was up, Kevin Porter Jr. is now on his way to Houston, according to reporting from Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 22, 2021
The Houston Rockets are acquiring Cleveland's Kevin Porter Jr., for a future protected second-round pick, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 22, 2021
The Rockets will reportedly give up a future protected second-round pick in the deal to acquire Porter, who has dealt with off-court problems dating all the way back to his one-and-done season at USC and as recently as November, when he was charged with improper handling of a firearm in a vehicle after a car crash outside Cleveland — all charges were later dropped after a grand jury declined to indict him on the gun charges.
The issue came to a head when Porter, who had been given permission to spend time away from the Cavaliers while he got his situation in order, lost his temper when new acquisition Taurean Prince was given locker space where Porter’s had been. According to reports, Porter got into a yelling match with general manager Koby Altman and threw food.
The second-round pick the Rockets give up in the deal could ultimately amount to nothing, as NBA teams often trade conditional picks to satisfy league rules that do not actually transfer to the receiving team. Houston will reportedly waive Chris Clemons to free up the roster spot for Porter.
The Rockets will acquire Kevin Porter Jr. from the Cleveland Cavaliers, a source said. @wojespn first. Rockets sending a protected second round pick. Will waive Chris Clemons to open the roster spot.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 22, 2021
For Houston, it’s a chance at a tremendously talented young player who put together a promising rookie season in 2019-20 but hasn’t been able to quite shake free of off-court issues. On a young, rebuilding team in the aftermath of the James Harden trade, Porter should have an opportunity to contribute and get a fresh start, which might be exactly what he needs to fulfill his exceptional promise as a player.