The Houston Rockets are putting on the finishing touches in their preparations for the 2022-23 season. One of those last touches involved signing Kevin Porter Jr. to a new four-year, $82.5 million deal earlier today. This is a big new deal for Porter, but it will surprisingly see just the first year of the deal fully guaranteed for the Rockets starting point guard.

Porter had been eligible for his rookie extension this offseason, and nobody really knew what the Rockets would do with Porter here. He’s clearly a talented player on the court, but he has some off the court issues that have popped up in the past that have impacted his availability on the court. Signing him to any extension was always going to be a bit of a risk.

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The Rockets only guaranteeing the first year of his deal seems to be a smart move to protect them if things go wrong for Porter, while also incentivizing the talented young guard to stay on the court. If he can continue to play well for Houston, he will be able to earn the full $82.5 million from the Rockets. But if something goes wrong, the Rockets have avenues to get out without taking too much of a loss.

Considering how Porter has quietly emerged as a strong point guard for the Rockets, this deal could be a steal if he continues to play well. But it was a good bit of planning from Houston to protect themselves in case things don’t work out. This deal seems very beneficial for both sides, and it will be interesting to see if Kevin Porter Jr. can take a step forward now as the leader of a young Rockets team.