Houston Rockets: 3 reasons why Kevin Porter Jr can be the next James Harden

Kevin Porter Jr. #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Kevin Porter Jr. #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Porter Jr. #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Kevin Porter Jr. #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets: Kevin Porter’s comparisons to James Harden

With respect to Kevin Porter Jr, he has a long way to go before being mentioned in the same breath as James Harden. However, Rockets fans can only fantasize for the time being considering the parallels they share.

The two have a similar basketball skillset and share some striking physical similarities. Both are left-hand dominant players and Porter is 6’4 203-pound, compared to Harden who is listed at 6’5 and weighs around 220 pounds.

While Harden is slightly larger and bulkier, Porter is so young that he could one day possess the raw strength that powered Harden to multiple scoring titles. Regardless of the size differential, that never stopped basketball experts from drawing the comparison between Harden and Porter.  according to Chris Fedor, NBA reporter for Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers thought he could be the next coming of Harden.

“The Cavs knew all the reasons behind Porter’s draft night plummet. They did their homework, talked to countless people, and met with Porter personally. Despite some other teams taking Porter off the board, the Cavs were enamored with his upside, seeing a Harden-like offensive package and tantalizing two-way traits”

In a game against the Rockets last season, Porter finished the contest with 24 points and had a few words of encouragement from Harden. “Just Keep going,” Porter said Harden told him after the game.

He went on to add, “Me and him are very close. Definitely a big brother to me and one of my idols in the league.” Porter’s teammate Tristian Thompson after the game commented on Harden’s mentorship and had recognized early on that Porter was a “dark horse” in the draft.

Thompson went on to say, “I’ve been saying it since he was at USA Under-17, he’s got a lot of James in him… they’re both lefties, they’re both [nearly the same height, Harden 6-foot-5, Porter 6-4]. As long as KP keeps working on that trey ball, he’s going to be a problem in this league.”

From his matchup against the Westchester Knicks, here are a series of clips where we see him playing passing lanes, lulling the defender to sleep with his ball-handling skills and  mirroring Harden’s slick step-back jumper to create space for a 3-point jump shot.

Kevin Porter Jr. is a pure talent.

Look how easy the game looks for him in the G. So physical, athletic, lefty, handles it so well, great finisher and can create off the dribble. This guy has all the makings of a star as far as his ability goes.

? @GLeagueTV pic.twitter.com/SnIs5s9SR8

— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) February 15, 2021

There’s a lot to be excited about if you’re a Houston Rockets fan during this new era of basketball for the franchise. While Porter hasn’t played a game yet for the team, it’s quite evident why there are high expectations for the Washington native.

Next. How Kevin Porter Jr. can get to the next level

James Harden was arguably the greatest player to wear a Houston Rockets jersey and for Porter to draw comparisons to him from his peers and NBA scouts is very telling of his potential. Optimism is quite high in the bayou city as the franchise is seeking to find a new identity and hopefully their next superstar who can help bring another championship to Houston.