Having made up their minds last weekend to trade or release Kevin Porter Jr., the Cavaliers found a taker on Thursday night, agreeing to a deal that will send the second-year wing to Houston. Cleveland won’t get anything of value in return, but was at least able to move off Porter’s salaries for this season and next, opening up a roster spot in the process.
Given how high the Cavaliers were on Porter’s on-court potential following his promising rookie season, the move represents a major step back in the team’s rebuild, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. As Fedor writes, the 20-year-old was viewed by many within the organization as the player with the highest upside of any on the roster, and it was only a few months ago that he was considered virtually untouchable in trade talks.
Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, general manager Koby Altman made every effort to make things work with Porter, who has made a series of poor off-court decisions, but ultimately felt like they couldn’t get through to him and decided it was time to move on.
“The organization did everything and more for him,” a league source told Fedor. “They went above and beyond. They gave him more chances than most franchises would have.”
Here’s more from around the Central:
- While Porter won’t be part of the Cavaliers‘ rebuild going forward, Collin Sexton – who poured in a career-high 42 points in an impressive win over Brooklyn on Wednesday – continues to establish himself as a cornerstone player for the franchise, Fedor writes in a separate story for Cleveland.com.
- After suffering an avulsion fracture in his right hand last Thursday, Myles Turner has missed the Pacers‘ last two games, but he could be back in the lineup as early as Friday. As J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star writes, Turner’s return will come down to how much pain and discomfort he can play through. “There’s really not much you can do for it to heal,” Turner said on Thursday. “No surgery. No time off. It’s just one of those things you’ve got to get used to.”
- In his latest mailbag, Rod Beard of The Detroit News explores whether the Pistons should be playing their rookies more, Jerami Grant‘s role in the team’s rebuild, and the possibility of trading Derrick Rose by this season’s deadline.