Houston Rockets: How good will Kevin Porter Jr be?

N.B. Lindberg
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Houston Rockets, Kevin Porter Jr
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Houston Rockets: Where Kevin Porter Jr is in 2021-22

If you’re a believer in Kevin Porter, I advise you don’t look at projection systems. They’re not sold that he’ll ever be anything more than an NBA rotation piece. Some would call them haters, but projection systems are inherently cautious. What the projections are really saying, is that Porter is more likely to be a bust than an All-Star, not that he cannot be an All-Star. 

For Kevin Porter to achieve his 90th percentile projections, the first thing he needs to do is shoot better. Unless you’re an elite defender or passer, there’s basically no space for a player who shoots as poorly as Porter has. One area he needs to improve dramatically is on catch and shoot jumpers. Last season he only hit 33-percent of his catch and shoot 3-pointers, which is well below the league average and usually represents a baseline of 3-point competence. 

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Porter was similarly poor on pull-up jumpers, only converting 34.9-percent on all attempts and 29.6-percent on 3-pointers. Any marginal improvement will have a cascading effect on Porter’s game. An improved jump shot will allow for more space for drives and dishes. 

The other area where Porter really needs to improve is his defense. Porter has the size and athleticism to be a solid on-ball defender but without consistent concentration and effort on that end, he’ll continue to be a negative. His defensive metrics have been poor over his first two seasons, but that’s not unexpected for a young player. If he shows better effort and positioning this season that has to be hailed as a developmental triumph.