CLEVELAND — On Friday, the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a trade sending Kevin Porter Jr. to the Houston Rockets in exchange for a protected second-round pick.
In a press release announcing the deal, Cavs general manager Koby Altman issued the following statement regarding the team's decision to trade the second-year guard:
“After careful and thoughtful evaluation, we made the very difficult and collective decision to make this trade,” Altman said. “Given the culture and environment we have worked to cultivate here in Cleveland, we feel this move is in everyone’s best interest. Kevin has a bright career ahead of him as a professional basketball player and, at his core, is a good person. We wish Kevin and his family well in Houston."
Cleveland's decision to deal Porter came just days after The Athletic reported that the Cavs planned to either trade or release the USC product following an emotional outburst over the weekend. Porter was reportedly upset about having his locker moved near the team's younger, end-of-the-bench players after his original locker was given to newly acquired forward Taurean Prince.
Following a promising rookie campaign, the 20-year-old Porter had yet to play in a game for Cleveland this season following a pair of off-the-court incidents.
In November, Porter was arrested and charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, along with failure to control and misdemeanor possession of marijuana after his 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE suffered apparent rollover damage on Interstate 76 in Mahoning County. Those charges have since been dropped.
According to a police report, Porter was alleged to have punched a woman in the face during an altercation at a downtown Cleveland apartment building in August. No charges were filed as a result of the incident.
A 5-star prospect coming out of high school, Porter saw uneven playing time and productivity during his lone season of college at USC. As Porter saw his draft prospects fall heading into the 2019 NBA Draft, the Cavs made a draft night trade with the Detroit Pistons to select Porter out of USC with the No. 30 pick.
Appearing in 50 games as a rookie, the 6-foot-4 swingman averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists with a season-high of 30 points in a win over the Miami Heat on Feb. 24.