3 reasons the Rockets were smart in trading for Kevin Porter Jr.

Kevin Porter Jr. #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Kevin Porter Jr. #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Kevin Porter Jr. #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

1. Porter is a low-risk, high-reward move for Rockets

The Cavaliers got a steal when they drafted Porter with the 30th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Part of why he fell so low was because of the aforementioned character concerns and immaturity.

The Cavaliers traded a 2020 2nd round pick, 2021 2nd round pick, 2023 2nd round pick, and 2024 2nd round pick to move up in the draft and select Porter Jr., which goes to show how much they valued him. After his first season, the Cavs felt they had a building block, and rightfully so.

The Rockets inherit a talented-yet-troubled budding star for a significantly lower price than what Cleveland paid for him, as the Rockets sent a protected second-round pick to the Cavs, continuing a string of stellar moves by Houston Rockets GM Rafael Stone. The asking price made it worth acquiring Porter, as the Rockets can simply cut ties if it doesn’t work out, without having wasted a significant amount of assets.

In addition, the Cavaliers picked up Porter’s club option for 2021-22, meaning he’s owed $2.1 million next season, which is a fairly low cost for the upside he presents. Porter has another team option in 2022-23 of $3.8 million, meaning the Rockets essentially have control over his contract and could have him on the roster for the next two years, which is an intriguing thought, as he will be just 22-years-old during that season.

For a Rockets team that is rebuilding for the future, Porter Jr. is the perfect type of player to add, and especially with his ceiling and high upside due to his age. When you factor in his contract situation and the cost that was paid to add him, the Houston Rockets clearly got a steal in KPJ, much like they did in fellow undrafted rookie Mason Jones.

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Kudos to Rafael Stone and the Rockets’ front office on yet another impressive acquisition.