Latest On Kevin Porter Jr.

Kevin Porter Jr. was arrested in New York City on Monday for assault and strangulation following an alleged incident with his girlfriend. Both charges are felonies, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

While Rockets general manager Rafael Stone previously declined to comment, both the team and the NBA later released statements acknowledging the incident.

We are in the process of gathering information surrounding the matter involving Kevin Porter Jr.,” the Rockets said, per MacMahon. “We have no further comment at this time.”

The NBA’s statement, which was through spokesperson Mike Bass, was quite similar.

The league office is in contact with the Houston Rockets and in the process of gathering more information.”

ESPN’s Bobby Marks doesn’t expect the league to take any discipline against the 23-year-old guard until a full investigation has been completed (Twitter link).

That’s what happened with Hornets forward Miles Bridges, who remained unsigned all of last season following felony domestic abuse charges — he pleaded no contest and later received a 30-game suspension once the league’s investigation concluded. Twenty games of that suspension were applied retroactively, so Bridges will be inactive for the first 10 games of ’23/24.

Bridges’ situation was different than Porter’s because he wasn’t under contract last season — Porter has a guaranteed $15.86MM salary for ’23/24.

As Marks notes, Houston could tell Porter to stay away from the team in the short term. The NBA technically has the power to void his contract as well, Marks adds, though that seems unlikely to occur, particularly in the near future.

The incident will be a tricky one to navigate for the Rockets, because Porter’s extension is uniquely structured due to his prior off-court incidents.

According to Marks, Porter’s $1MM partial guarantee for ’24/25 will increase to $3MM if he isn’t waived by the first day of the upcoming regular season. It will increase from $3MM to $6MM if he isn’t released five days after the trade deadline.

June 30, 2024, is a huge date to watch as far as Porter’s contract goes, per Marks. If he isn’t waived by that date, his full $15.86MM salary for ’24/25 will become guaranteed, as will his identical cap hit for ’25/26. The final year of Porter’s contract, which is a team option, will become guaranteed if he isn’t waived by June 30, 2025.

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