Kevin Porter

Cavs Notes: Porter, Nance, Love, Exum

Cavaliers rookie Kevin Porter Jr. has been diagnosed with a left knee sprain and will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks, the team announced today (via Twitter). Porter’s injury occurred during the third quarter of Sunday’s home loss to Minnesota.

While Porter will be sidelined for multiple weeks, the news wasn’t as bad as it could have been for the Cavs. A source told Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com before Porter underwent an MRI that the club was “bracing for some real time off.”

As Fedor notes in a separate article at Cleveland.com, the second half of the season figures to be mostly about player development for the lottery-bound Cavaliers, and Porter had emerged this season as one of the organization’s most promising young prospects. If his knee injury had been more severe, it might have cost him most or all of the rest of his rookie season. While it appears that won’t be the case, teammates like John Henson were worried when they saw Porter go down.

“It kind of hurt my heart a little bit,” Henson said. “Young guys, this is the year for them. Especially them just learning the game and he was progressing. At this stage of the season he was looking like the steal of the draft.”

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers are also without big man Larry Nance Jr., having announced on Friday in a press release that he’d be on the shelf for about one or two weeks with left knee soreness.
  • Kevin Love won’t be disciplined by the Cavaliers for his outburst during Saturday’s game vs. Oklahoma City, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. We described that on-court incident in a Sunday story.
  • As a result of last month’s trade with Utah, John Beilein has the opportunity to coach Dante Exum six years after he tried to recruit the Australian guard to come to Michigan, notes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. “It was only a couple of phone calls,” Beilein said of his recruitment efforts. “I never could get the time right, you know, calling Australia. So we kept playing voicemail tag… I don’t think he was ever thinking, ‘NBA or Michigan?’ But we were one of the people that called him. I’m sure North Carolina was recruiting him, as well.” Exum ultimately opted not to play college ball, entering the 2014 NBA draft and going fifth overall.

Central Notes: Porter Jr., Oladipo, Green, Forman

One of the big reasons why the Cavaliers made the Jordan Clarkson trade was to open up minutes for rookie Kevin Porter Jr., according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The team was aware that Clarkson would likely leave as an unrestricted free agent over the summer, while Porter is one of the team’s building blocks, Fedor continues. Teammates, coaches and members of the front office have raved about Porter’s talent for months, Fedor adds, and by moving Clarkson there’s more playing time available for the 30th overall pick in the draft.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • While ESPN reported that Victor Oladipo is aiming to return in late January or early February, Pacers coach Nate McMillan insists no timetable has been set for his star guard’s return, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star relays.  Oladipo continues to work his way back from a serious quad injury suffered last season.“No. We haven’t come up with a date,” McMillan said. “I saw that report. We haven’t come up with a timeline for him to return.”
  • Veteran forward Jeff Green could fill a need for the Bulls, according to Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago. They are dealing with injuries at the small forward spot and Green, who was waived by Utah earlier this week, could help in that area. Otto Porter Jr.‘s foot ailment seems to be a long-term issue, Walton notes. The Bulls would have to open up a roster spot to sign Green since they’re currently at the maximum level.
  • Gar Forman’s draft record with the Bulls has been solid but unspectacular over the past four years with the club in rebuild mode, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times opines. Forman’s best pick was selecting Lauri Markkanen in the 2017 draft, Cowley notes.

Cavs Rumors: Love, Trade Options, Porter

The Cavaliers may have a difficult time trading Kevin Love this season for a couple reasons, as Jason Lloyd of The Athletic explains. For one, Love has a massive contract that will pay him more than $91MM over the next three seasons, not counting his $29MM cap hit for 2019/20.

Additionally, there may be a significant divide between what the Cavaliers want for Love vs. what other teams are willing to offer. A source with knowledge of the situation tells Lloyd that Cleveland is seeking a first-round pick. However, some potential trade partners want to acquire a first-rounder themselves for absorbing the final three-and-a-half years of Love’s contract.

One league executive believes the Cavs may eventually get the first-round pick they want in a Love trade, but it depends how much salary they’ll be willing to take back, Lloyd writes. It doesn’t help the Cavs’ case that there aren’t many truly toxic multiyear contracts left on teams’ books around the NBA that they could absorb.

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Following up on Love, Lloyd acknowledges that the five-time All-Star has been the subject of trade rumors for years, but says this time feels “a little more real.”
  • Here’s how Love responded when asked by Lloyd if he re-upped with Cleveland because the team was willing to pay him more money than he could’ve received in free agency: “Maybe more years. And honestly it was like the last one I signed. I could’ve done a one-plus-one and waited, and got $40MM more. But I think I felt comfortable here, I didn’t know what the future was going to hold, but they believed in me after my first year after I got hurt and they believed in me then. And it’s really hard to say no when the money is right there. From a strictly financial standpoint, if it’s right there in front of you, you’re like, ‘S–t.'”
  • The Cavaliers had made it known that they’re ready to discuss trades, according to Lloyd, who hears from one source that the team has made “basically everyone but Darius [Garland]” available. The Cavs’ veterans on expiring contracts are the club’s most logical trade chips, but Lloyd is unconvinced that any of those players will be worth a first-round pick on the trade market.
  • According to Lloyd, the Cavs have been “quietly impressed” with what they’ve seen so far from No. 30 overall pick Kevin Porter Jr. Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com took a closer look at Porter after the rookie scored a career-high 24 points vs. Houston on Wednesday, writing that the 19-year-old has been the “brightest light in a gloomy season” for the franchise.

Cavaliers Notes: Windler, Veterans, Porter, Beilein

Cavaliers rookie Dylan Windler could be ready for his NBA debut next week, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The 26th pick in this year’s draft continues to make progress after being sidelined with a stress reaction in his leg. He has been ruled out for the team’s upcoming three-game road trip, which starts Friday, but may be ready for the next home game on November 14.

The Cavs are counting on Windler to add another shooting threat to their lineup, with Jordan Clarkson and Kevin Porter Jr. most likely to lose minutes, Fedor states, noting that Porter still gets lost on defense and slows down the flow of the offense. Cleveland needs a reliable backup for Cedi Osman, and the front office is encouraged by Windler’s performance this summer.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • Brandon Knight, Tristan ThompsonJohn Henson and Matthew Dellavedova and Clarkson are all veterans on expiring contracts. While the Cavaliers will shop all of them between now and the trade deadline, they will consider long-term deals with whomever who still remains, Fedor adds in the same piece. Management considers all five players to be good for the team culture and accepting of their roles.
  • Porter has expressed regret over the one-game suspension he received for running into an official, Fedor relays in a separate story. It happened during Sunday’s game when Porter bumped into Bill Spooner after not getting a foul call. “He was very contrite, very disappointed in himself,” coach John Beilein said. “I didn’t see the bump (at the time). I just saw him running that way and I turned to talk to the assistants. I didn’t even know about it until (general manager) Koby (Altman) told me.”
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens marvels at the Cavs’ progress since the teams met twice in the preseason, Fedor writes in another piece. Boston picked up a victory in Cleveland last night, but Stevens believes Beilein has the team headed in the right direction. “I have a lot of respect for him,” Stevens said. “I watched how they’ve even tweaked and changed since we played him in the preseason. He’s just really advanced, he’s very good. Structurally, they’ve changed so much on offense and defense. I feel like they’ve really adjusted too as they’ve gotten back healthy, playing to the strengths of (Kevin) Love, playing to the strengths of Thompson.”

Cavaliers Notes: Beilein, Altman, Porter Jr.

In the wake of general manager Koby Altman‘s new long-term contract extension, head coach John Beilein said that Altman’s presence on the Cavaliers was one of the reasons he took the job, as Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com relays.

“That was one of the attractive things about taking the job,” Beilein said of Altman. “I knew [Cavs assistant GM] Mike Gansey really well but he had such great things to say about Koby and then during the whole process I could see a guy I would love to work for. Just love the direction of everything. Have great faith in each other. He’s letting me coach and at the same time he understands what we need in a roster and I think he’s going to build that.”

Here’s more from Cleveland:

  • Hiring Beilein was a risky move for Altman, Fedor contends in the same piece. There haven’t been many college coaches who have found success in the NBA, though Altman’s willingness to think outside the box is part of the reason that he landed an extension with the Cavaliers. “Koby has been a culture-driver and an innovator who has built a fresh, new foundation and environment for our front office and team that inspires everyone involved,” team owner Dan Gilbert said. “…I look forward to seeing his hard work and creativity continue to make us better and help guide the team towards reaching our goals for years to come.”
  • Altman believes the security the Cavaliers gave him in his long-term extension will allow him to carry out his plan for the team, Fedor relays in separate piece“Started as a scout, working my way up all the way to assistant general manager and now this,” Altman. “It’s been a lot of growth and development from my standpoint. Really appreciative of that. It’s a great sign for the franchise that we have stability and continuity moving forward. It gives us unlimited potential.” We passed along more of Altman’s comments on Monday.
  • Kevin Porter Jr. has been suspended for one game by the league. The rookie made contact with a referee during the Cavaliers‘ loss to the Mavericks on Sunday.

Central Notes: Rose, Hutchison, Bledsoe, Love

Derrick Rose signed with the Pistons this summer in pursuit a championship, he said in a Sirius XM NBA Radio interview (Twitter link). Rose, who inked a two-year, $15MM contract, feels the Pistons can contend in the Eastern Conference behind the big man duo of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. “While I’m in the game, I want to win a championship,” he said. “That’s what I really want to do. I’ve got all the accolades I wanted.  Now it’s time for me to get the one I really, really want. I’ve won at every level except for this level.”

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Bulls swingman Chandler Hutchison suffered a left hamstring strain while working out this week, according to a post on the team’s website. While the injury doesn’t appear serious, it’s a reminder of the team’s lack of depth along the wings, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Hutchison is slated as a backup to Otto Porter at small forward while Antonio Blakeney and Denzel Valentine, who was injured all of last season, are the top options behind shooting guard Zach LaVine.
  • Trade restrictions on Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe lifted this week, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. Bledsoe couldn’t be dealt for six months after he signed a four-year, $70M extension on March 4. However, there are no indications Milwaukee, one of the favorites to win the championship, is looking to move Bledsoe.
  • Kevin Love is organizing a minicamp for his Cavaliers teammates in New York next week, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reports. Cedi Osman and Matthew Dellavedova won’t be able to make it, since they are participating in the FIBA World Cup. Most of the other team members are expected to show up, including first-round picks Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and Dylan Windler.

Peers Choose Zion, Morant As Top Rookie Of Year Candidates

Top pick Zion Williamson of the Pelicans is considered the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award by his peers, but he’s not a clear-cut choice. The second pick in the draft, point guard Ja Morant of the Grizzlies, finished a close second in the voting. However, that might not be such a good thing for either player.

For the 11th time in 13 years, John Schuhmann of NBA.com got the opportunity to ask the NBA’s incoming crop of rookies a series of questions related to their fellow draftees.

Historically, the NBA rookies haven’t been soothsayers. They haven’t accurately identified a Rookie of the Year winner since Kevin Durant in 2007/08. Last season, Deandre Ayton and Collin Sexton were considered the co-favorites. Luka Doncic ended up winning the award with Trae Young finishing a solid second.

Here’s some of the highlights from the survey:

  • Williamson got 35% of the vote for the Rookie of the Year prize, while Morant received 27% backing. No one else got more than 5%.
  • Nuggets second-round pick Bol Bol and Cavaliers’ late first-rounder Kevin Porter Jr. were considered the steals of the draft, with each getting 19% of the vote.
  • Two players stood out to their peers as being the best defenders in the draft — the Sixers’ Matisse Thybulle and the Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter. Thybulle collected 37% of the votes in that category, while Hunter received 29% backing.
  • By a wide margin, Williamson was chosen as the most athletic rookie, garnering 87% of the votes. Morant was selected as the best ball-handler, receiving 40% of those votes.
  • The Heat‘s Tyler Herro (33%) edged out the Kings’ Kyle Guy (29%) as the best shooter.
  • LeBron James (38%) got the highest total in the ‘Favorite player in the league’ category with Kevin Durant (20%) finishing second.

Contract Details: Porter, Rozier, Spurs, Kings, Raptors

For the first time in several years, a first-round pick has accepted below the standard maximum of 120% of his rookie scale amount, tweets Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights. According to Siegel, No. 30 overall pick Kevin Porter Jr. will only earn 80% of his rookie scale amount during his first season and will continue to get less than 120% of the rookie scale amount in years two through four.

The rookie scale amount this year for the No. 30 pick is $1,613,700, so Porter’s expected salary for his rookie season would have been $1,936,440. Instead, he’ll get just $1,290,960, according to Siegel.

[RELATED: Rookie Scale Salaries For 2019 First-Round Picks]

While this is just my speculation, it seems likely that the Cavaliers would have checked in with Porter and his agent before drafting him to see if he’d be okay with that reduced first-year salary, given how rare it is. Porter, the final pick in the first round, will still earn significantly more than the rookie minimum of $898K that many early second-rounder selections will receive, while the Cavs, who are up against the luxury-tax line, will put themselves in better position to avoid potential repeater penalties.

Here are more contract details from around the NBA, all courtesy of Siegel unless otherwise indicated:

  • Terry Rozier‘s three-year, $56.7MM contract with the Hornets has a declining structure (Twitter link). It starts at $19.9MM in 2019/20 before eventually dipping to $17.9MM by 2021/22.
  • The base value of Rudy Gay‘s two-year deal with the Spurs is $28MM, with $2MM in annual bonuses to bring the potential total value up to $32MM (Twitter link). DeMarre Carroll‘s deal, meanwhile, only has a partial guarantee of $1.35MM in the third year (Twitter link). The Spurs tacked on that third season when they pivoted to acquiring Carroll via sign-and-trade rather than signing him outright.
  • Trevor Ariza‘s two-year, $25MM contract with the Kings only has a $1.8MM partial guarantee in year two (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Sacramento’s deal with Dewayne Dedmon has a base value of $40MM over three years, with $300K in annual incentives (Twitter link).
  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic provides details on a pair of Raptors contracts, tweeting that Patrick McCaw‘s new two-year deal is worth $8MM, while Matt Thomas‘ three-year, minimum-salary contract is non-guaranteed in year three. Both of those deals will come out of Toronto’s mid-level exception — Stanley Johnson‘s might too, though if the team has plans in mind for the rest of the $4.36MM on its MLE, Johnson could be signed using the bi-annual exception instead, notes Murphy.

Cavaliers Sign Kevin Porter Jr.

The Cavaliers now have all three of their first-round picks under contract with today’s signing of Kevin Porter Jr. following yesterday’s deals for Darius Garland and Dylan Windler. The team formerly announced all three moves in a press release.

Porter, the final player selected in the first round, had a roundabout journey to Cleveland, being taken by the Bucks and dealt to the Pistons on draft night. Detroit moved his draft rights to the Cavs in a June 26 deal. No terms were released for Porter’s contract, but he is eligible to earn $1,936,440, $2,033,160 and $2,130,240 in his first three NBA seasons.

Porter spent one season at USC, averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in about 22 minutes per game. He ranked sixth in the Pac 12 in 3-point shooting percentage at .412%.

Cavs Acquire No. 30, Draft Kevin Porter Jr.

JUNE 26, 8:39pm: The deal is official, per an announcement from the Cavaliers.

JUNE 20, 10:58pm: The Pistons are acquiring 2020, 2021, 2023, and 2024 second-round picks in this swap, tweets Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The picks are from Utah (2020), Portland (2021 and 2023), and Miami (2024; top-55 protected), according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who tweets that Cleveland also surrendered $5MM in cash.

JUNE 20, 9:48pm: After agreeing to acquire the No. 30 pick from the Bucks along with Tony Snell, the Pistons are flipping that pick to the Cavaliers, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Cleveland will use the newly-acquired first-rounder to draft USC guard Kevin Porter Jr.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the Cavaliers are sending four future second-round picks to the Pistons in the deal, along with some cash. Detroit had traded away all of its second-rounders between 2020-23 in previous deals, so this move will help restock the club’s draft assets.

Porter had an up-and-down season at USC in 2018/19, averaging just 9.5 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 21 games. He also face questions about his maturity, which likely contributed to him slipping to the end of the first round. However, NBA evaluators believe he has the physical tools to become a talented shot creator and defender, per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

The Cavaliers have now added Darius Garland, Dylan Windler, and Porter in the first round of tonight’s draft. They don’t have any second-rounders, so their evening will be over unless they make more trades.