Rockets Sign Kevin Porter Jr. To Four-Year Extension

12:08pm: Porter’s extension is now official, the Rockets announced today in a press release.

“We value the player and the person that Scoot is becoming and are eager to invest in him and his journey,” Rockets general manager Rafael Stone said in a statement. “He’s expressed how happy he is to be with this organization and has shown his commitment to putting in the work both on and off the court. We are excited for the opportunity to continue to build something special with him.”

10:18am: Porter’s four-year extension will only be fully guaranteed for $15.86MM in year one, sources tell Charania (Twitter link).

ESPN’s Bobby Marks provides more details, tweeting that the Porter’s annual salaries in subsequent years will guarantee if he remains under contract through each June 30. For instance, his 2024/25 salary would guarantee if he hasn’t been waived by June 30, 2024.

Additionally, there’s language in the deal that will provide a path for Porter’s salaries in future seasons to become partially guaranteed before they become fully guaranteed, Marks adds (via Twitter).

Since Porter’s first-year salary is only worth $15.86MM, the total base value of the extension can only be worth up to about $71MM with 8% annual raises, so the $82.5MM total value (reported below) appears to include incentives. According to Marks, those incentives are related to games played and team success.

9:00am: The Rockets and guard Kevin Porter Jr. have agreed to a rookie scale contract extension, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Agent Sam Permut tells Wojnarowski that it’s a four-year, $82.5MM deal. However, according to Shams Charania and Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link), only the first season is fully guaranteed.

Wojnarowski (Twitter link) describes the extension as having a “unique” structure that will have major upside for Porter while also providing protections for the team. Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link) says there are partial guarantees beyond the first year. The final season is a team option, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Porter, 22, was the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft and had a promising rookie season in Cleveland. However, he had some legal issues off the court prior to his second season and was then involved in a locker room incident early in 2021 that prompted the Cavaliers to trade him to Houston.

In his two seasons with the Rockets, Porter has established himself as the team’s starting point guard, averaging 15.9 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 4.2 RPG with a shooting line of .418/.357/.672 in 87 total games (31.5 MPG). Perhaps most importantly, there’s been no indication that his past behavior off the court and in the locker room has been a recurring issue in Houston.

We’ll have to wait for more details on the exact structure of Porter’s new contract, but the fact that it’s not fully guaranteed beyond the first year means the Rockets should have an out if they ultimately decide he’s not the right fit at point guard with the rest of their young core, or if any other off-court incidents take place down the road.

Even with a lucrative new deal for Porter on their books, the Rockets will still have plenty of financial flexibility during the summer of 2023. According to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link), the club should be able to create a minimum of $30MM in cap room, and could get to $50MM+ by waiving non-guaranteed players (including Eric Gordon).

As our extension tracker shows, Porter is the ninth player to agree to a rookie scale extension in 2022. If he earns his full $82.5MM, Porter’s deal would be the seventh-most lucrative of those extensions, ahead of Keldon Johnson and Brandon Clarke.

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