Kevin Porter Jr.’s time in Cleveland may be over after an apparent outburst. Porter was reportedly upset that the team gave his old locker to Taurean Prince, whom the Cavs acquired in the James Harden four-team trade.
Sources said that Kevin Porter’s outburst began when he entered the locker room and saw that not only was the locker changed, but moved to the wall where the younger, bench players reside. Porter reportedly began yelling and at one point threw food.
Cleveland spent the weekend looking for potential suitors. Here are three teams that need to make a move on Kevin Porter.
Kevin Porter hasn’t played a game this year due to personal reasons. He also was arrested and charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, failure to control the vehicle, and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
While his charges were dismissed, it is apparent that Porter needs an environment with strong leadership. Kevin Porter was also dismissed from USC prior to entering the NBA. The Cavilers are young and clearly have something good brewing, but they do not have the vets to help lead a young player with Porter’s temperament and off-court situation.
The Suns on the other hand have a vet known for being an exceptional leader by the name of Chris Paul. And while Paul’s time in Phoenix could very well be limited to this one season, it only takes one season under structure for a player’s career turnaround. Consider how Kevin Porter could fare in this context.
Phoenix would benefit from having an explosive scoring punch off the bench with Kevin Porter. Sitting in a loaded Western Conference that doesn’t guarantee a playoff sport for teams with an All-Star, the Suns have to beef up their overall number to compete with the rest of the conference.
To complete a Kevin Porter trade the Suns would have to give up their 2021 first-round pick from the Heat and their 2021 second-round draft pick.
2. Trail Blazers
The Blazers are deep. They have Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr heading their bench unit as well as Enes Kanter– pre Nurkic injury. They have plenty of outside shooting considering Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum stagger their minutes until it’s time to close.
The problem is they don’t have that slasher who can take advantage of the spacing created by the existed of Lillard and McCollum. Enter Kevin Porter. Rodney Hood and Trent are reliable shooters who can defend, but they aren’t known for being able to put the ball on the floor. Melo of old was that guy, but if Melo was his former self he wouldn’t even be with the Blazers.
Without a pure slasher, the Blazers are often playing hot potato along the perimeter. Kevin Porter can take advantage of the spaces and force defenses to help off of Lillard and McCollum. Also, the leadership of the Blazers’ duo will benefit Porter’s development.
In a Western Conference that features ninth and tenth seeds with competitive rosters, Kevin Porter would be a huge grab for the Trailblazers.
The Blazers would likely have to trade Alfred Simmons and their 2022 second-round pick to get Kevin Porter.
Something is wrong in Toronto (or Tampa, as the case may be). The Raptors have not gotten off to the start fans are accustomed to seeing. Their offense has been stagnant and their defense has been on existent. They could easily string together a ten-game win streak and brush off their rough start, or they can end up with a lower seed as the Philadelphia 76ers did a year ago. The latter would put the Raptors in a tough position, where instead of meeting a top eastern team in the quarter or semifinals, they would have that battle in the first round. To avoid the latter, the Raptors need to go after Kevin Porter.
It could be a fit. Kevin Porter’s explosiveness paired with Lowry and VanVleet would force defenses to pick their poisons. Pascal Siakam was able to rise to stardom behind this same formula. While it’s not guaranteed Porter would excel in the way Siakam has over the past three years, it is clear that his game fits what the Raptors want to do.
Also, Kevin Porter would help take an offensive load off of Siakam, who is currently in a deep slump that dates back to the NBA bubble. Since the departure of Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, Siakam has been asked to take a larger role defensively. Whether or not his usage on defense is contributing to his struggles, his struggles are loud and clear. His points average have dropped from 22.9 to 18.9 points per game. Most notably his efficiency has dropped tremendously, Siakam shooting split going from .453/.359/.792 to .394/.280/.875.
Kevin Porter won’t be the piece that ends Siakam’s woes and fixes the Raptors’ issues, but he would surely serve as a bandage to their current wounds.
The Raptors would have to give up Malachi Flynn and cash considerations in exchange for Kevin Porter.