Rockets’ Kevin Porter Jr Says He’s ‘Still Close’ With Cavs

Things didn’t end well for Rockets shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr. when he was with Cleveland.Kevin Porter Jr

A locker room incident in which Porter reportedly shouted at Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman during the 2020-21 season led to Porter’s trade to Houston.

The Cavs were hopeful when they landed him with the No. 30 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He was supposed to be a part of their young, promising core. But some immaturity issues led the Cavs to give up on him.

All of that is ancient history today, Porter suggested, with the Rockets set to visit the Cavaliers on Sunday night.

“I would say that’s the first time I learned about the business of the NBA,” Porter said of the trade that sent him to the Rockets, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “But we’re all still close, still. Those relationships are still there and very valuable to me, and (to) the other side, too. Definitely, a lot of people would say it was bad, a bad (ending). It was (for) the best for both of us.”

Things have indeed worked out well for the Cavs, who are on the brink of clinching their first playoff berth without LeBron James on the team since 1997-98. The current cast remains promising with the likes of guards Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, forward Evan Mobley and center Jarrett Allen.

Things aren’t so bad for Porter, either. He’s in another rebuilding situation, but is among those offering the Rockets some hope individually.

In 52 games this season, he’s averaging career-highs of 18.6 points and 5.6 rebounds, to go with 5.9 assists and 44 percent shooting.

So in the end, despite all the drama, it seems as if both the Cavs and Porter have emerged from the situation as winners.

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