Rockets Notes: Stone, Porter, VanVleet, Thompson

Rockets general manager Rafael Stone informed Kevin Porter Jr.‘s representatives that he’s not welcome at media day or training camp, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Stone called the allegations that Porter assaulted Kysre Gondrezick “deeply troubling.”

“Going back a few weeks, as soon as I heard the allegations, I informed his representatives that he could not be part of the Houston Rockets,” Stone said in a prepared statement at media day. “He has not been with the team or around the team since that time. What’s left for the team to do is to evaluate the step the best steps for our organization that remain in compliance with the league domestic violence policy.”

Porter was arrested last month on felony charges of assault and strangulation for allegedly attacking Gondrezick at a New York hotel. Police said Porter struck the former WNBA player multiple times and put his hands around her neck. The Rockets have made an effort to trade Porter’s $15.86MM contract for the upcoming season, reportedly offering several second-round picks to any team willing to take him off their hands.

There’s more from Houston:

  • Free agent addition Fred VanVleet told reporters that new coach Ime Udoka played a huge role in his decision to join the Rockets, tweets Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “Coach is the biggest reason I’m here. I’ve always been an extension of the coach on the floor. All of this (media day) stuff is fun and pictures are nice, but I’m excited to get to work.”
  • In an interview with Iko, rookie guard Amen Thompson confirmed that the ankle injury he suffered during Summer League is fully healed. He’s also eager to put to rest the questions about his outside shooting that followed him throughout his time in Overtime Elite. “I put a lot of hours in with (lead assistant) Ben Sullivan just on my jump shot and I feel way more confident than I did even going into Summer League,” Thompson said. “Over time, I know I’ll be a great shooter. Over time, over the years, it’s not like it’s a one-day thing. It’s an over the course of time sort of thing so I know I’ll be great at that. And when I’m great at that, it opens up everything else.”
  • Thompson could see a lot of the minutes that went to Porter last season, Feigen adds in a training camp preview. He notes that one of the reasons the team targeted VanVleet is that he’s capable of moving from point guard to shooting guard and playing alongside Thompson.
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