Kevin Porter Jr. will make his debut with the Rockets when they resume their season next week. The second-year swingman, who was acquired from the Cavaliers in January, was recalled from the G League today, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.
From the time of the trade, Houston laid out a gradual progression for Porter. The 20-year-old showed hints of stardom during his rookie season, but was plagued by legal issues and other off-the-court problems. He wore out his welcome in Cleveland after throwing a tantrum in front of team officials after finding out his locker had been moved.
Porter’s stint in the G League was a huge success, as he averaged 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 15 games with Rio Grande Valley and was named Player of the Week last week. He helped the Vipers earn a playoff spot, but he won’t be with the team when the postseason begins.
Rockets general manager Rafael Stone told Mark Berman of KRIV in Houston that the plan for Porter has gone just as expected (Twitter link).
“When we acquired him we laid out that we wanted him to play through the break, which he’s done,” Stone said. “We had very specific goals in mind for how we wanted him to play, what we wanted him to try and achieve. We’re extraordinarily happy with him. He did all of that. Part of the plan was for him to rejoin the team post break. We’re going to be able to have one practice. Practice time in the NBA is extraordinarily limited. So he’ll be able to practice with the team and join us. He’s a very young player. He’s a very talented player and hopefully he can contribute.”
Porter hasn’t played in an NBA game since March 4, 2020. The Cavaliers weren’t invited to the NBA restart, and he was held out of the lineup early this season while resolving a legal matter. Porter averaged 10.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.2 APG in 50 games as a rookie.
The Rockets also recalled KJ Martin from the G League, Berman adds. The rookie forward appeared in seven NBA games earlier this season.