Houston Rockets: Kevin Porter’s 2020-21 Season
The 2020-21 season was a whirlwind for Kevin Porter Jr. He started the season with the Cleveland Cavaliers but never suited up for the team as his relationship with the organization deteriorated beyond the point of repair. The Rockets capitalized on the Cavaliers’ discontent and landed Porter for a second-round pick.
Porter didn’t initially join the Rockets. Instead, he was sent to the Rockets’ G-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Vipers, to transition from a wing to a point guard. With the Vipers, Porter took on a massive usage rate and was given the license, and possibly the directive, to lead the league in scoring and assists. After leading the G-League in points, assists, field-goal attempts, and turnovers, the Rockets brought up Porter to get some NBA reps.
Over 26 games, Porter averaged 16.6 points, 6.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.5 turnovers per game on 31.1-percent 3-point shooting and 51.5-percent on 2-pointers. These are the positives; Porter’s passing was good enough, he was great at finishing at the rim (74%) and solid at getting to the line (3.6 free throw attempts a game). The negatives were just about everything else. His defense was lousy, his jump shooting poor, and none of his skills were so elite that they compensated for his deficiencies.
Put another way, if Kevin Porter was in his 30s, there’s a good chance he’d be playing in Europe. That being said, for a 20-year-old with less than a full season’s worth of games under his belt, there are enough positives to be interested in where his development will go.