Former Rocket Kevin Porter Jr. Reaches Plea Deal

Former Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr., who was arrested in September following an altercation with his then-girlfriend, ex-WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick, reached a plea deal in a Manhattan court on Tuesday, according to reports from ESPN and Matt Young of The Houston Chronicle.

Accused of assaulting Gondrezick in a New York hotel, Porter was originally charged with felony counts of assault and strangulation. He ultimately agreed to reckless assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, as well as harassment in the second degree, which is considered a violation.

If Porter completes a court-ordered 26-week counseling session program and abides by a restraining order, he’ll be able to withdraw his plea to the assault charge in one year.

“The resolution will allow Mr. Porter to put this incident, which involved false felony allegations and false facts, behind him with no criminal record and move forward,” Porter’s lawyers said in a statement.

Several weeks after Porter’s arrest in September, Gondrezick disputed Manhattan prosecutors’ characterization of the incident that took place on September 11, telling Priscilla DeGregory and Emily Crane of The New York Post that Porter “never balled his fists up and hit me” and “definitely didn’t punch me in the face numerous times.”

A second-degree assault charge against Porter was dropped at that time after it was determined that Gondrezick’s vertebra fracture was a congenital defect and not caused by the former Rocket.

“It happened very fast, not to the degree of what was reported,” Gondrezick said of the altercation. “And it was an argument that occurred in the room for not even 10 seconds.”

Porter was asked not to report to the Rockets for training camp following his arrest and was eventually traded to the Thunder, who waived him. He has been an unrestricted free agent since then.

In cases like these, the NBA typically waits for the legal process to play out before conducting its own investigation and making a decision on a potential suspension for the player, so Porter can probably expect to hear from the league at some point.

The 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Porter was Houston’s starting point guard last season, averaging 19.2 points, 5.7 assists, and 5.3 rebounds in 34.3 minutes per game across 59 appearances. He posted a shooting line of .442/.366/.784.

While I wouldn’t expect NBA teams to aggressively pursue the 23-year-old now that his case has been resolved, he’s a candidate to land a new contract later in 2024 due to his performance on the court. Still, it’s worth noting that Porter’s tenure with the Cavaliers – his first NBA team – also came to an end due to concerns about his off-court behavior, so it’s safe to assume any potential suitor will do plenty of background work before deciding whether to offer him a deal.

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