Rockets Offering “Several” Second-Rounders To Unload Porter

2:46pm: Houston hopes to either trade or waive Porter prior to training camp, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).

2:08pm: Sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter video link) that the Rockets are offering “several second-round draft picks” in an effort to trade Kevin Porter Jr., who was arrested this week on felony charges of assault and strangulation.

According to Charania, Houston is actively discussing potential Porter deals with “multiple teams.” Charania reported yesterday that the Rockets were looking to trade the 23-year-old following his latest alleged off-court incident.

As Charania has pointed out a couple times now, any team considering a move for Porter would have to weigh the negative publicity that would follow, even if the acquiring team never intends for the guard to actually play for the organization.

Porter pleaded not guilty to the assault charges at his arraignment on Tuesday and was ordered to appear in a New York court on October 16. Prosecutors said the attack left his girlfriend, former WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick, with a fractured vertebra in her neck and a deep cut above her right eye.

Charania suggests the Rockets might be trying to sell rival teams on the fact that if Porter eventually faces a suspension (without pay), a team that acquires him could get financial relief to offset part of his $15.86MM contract for 2023/24, which is fully guaranteed. In that scenario, the suspension may be applied retroactively, since his court case and the league’s investigation into the incident may not be resolved in the near future.

However, that scenario would require an acquiring team to keep Porter on its roster until he’s suspended, which would obviously be extremely unpopular with fans and members of the community. It also assumes that Porter will eventually be suspended, which isn’t certain, even if it seems likely given his history and the severity of the allegations.

Complicating matters further is the fact that Porter’s partially guaranteed salary for 2024/25 has several trigger dates throughout the upcoming season, which means any money a team might save via a suspension would be offset by owing him more money in ’24/25. He’s currently owed $1MM in ’24/25, but that will increase to $3MM on opening night and $6MM if he’s still on a team’s roster five days after the trade deadline.

Even if the Rockets can’t find a trade partner, Charania says Porter’s tenure with Houston — and possibly the NBA — is “most likely” nearing its end.

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