The Houston Rockets made a monumental deal last week and are continuing to deal this week.
According to sources, the Rockets have acquired second-year wing Kevin Porter Jr. from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for a protected future second-round pick.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are finalizing a trade to send Kevin Porter Jr. to the Houston Rockets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 22, 2021
In a corresponding move, the Rockets will waive Chris Clemons, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
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
Porter Jr. has had a rough start to his NBA career off the court.
In August, Porter was accused of punching a woman in downtown Cleveland. He was not charged in the altercation.
In October, Porter Jr. posted an alarming, suicidal post on Instagram.
Kevin Porter Jr. shares scary, suicidal Instagram post as fans beg him to seek help: https://t.co/o8mIW6UJet— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 16, 2020
In November, Porter Jr. was arrested for “improperly handling firearms in a motor Vehicle [and] transport loaded firearm in a motor vehicle accessible to operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle,” per Mahoning County Sheriff’s records. The charges have been dropped.
Then, last week, upon the trade that welcomed Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen to Cleveland, the team gave Prince the locker that belonged to Porter Jr., after he yelled and threw food with other teammates present.
All of these events point towards scary mental health struggles, but a change of scenery could be what’s best for the 20-year-old.
He could also benefit from the coaching of John Lucas, who also dealt with mental health struggles during his career in the NBA. Since then, he’s worked with numerous athletes across several sports in order to turn their careers around.
The risk is low, but the reward’s ceiling is high.
In Porter’s rookie year, he averaged 10 points per game in 50 contests, including a then career-high 24 point game against the Rockets back in December 2019.
Porter has not played yet this season due to personal reasons but he will be given an opportunity in Houston to get his career back on track.