The Houston Rockets have a difficult decision to make regarding the future of guard Kevin Porter Jr. Porter will be a restricted free agent after the 2022-23 season and the Rockets seem keen on retaining him. For the right price that is.
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, any contract extension for Porter Jr. would have to benefit the team.
With the Rockets prioritizing cap space in 2023, any Kevin Porter Jr. contract extension in 2022 would need to be a team-friendly deal, as reported by @MikeAScotto of HoopsHype. https://t.co/AVbUcMkZOg
— The Rockets Wire (@TheRocketsWire) August 5, 2022
Last season, Porter Jr. averaged 15.6 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. He was brought over from the Cleveland Cavaliers via trade during the 2020-21 season after a locker room meltdown led to his exit.
Porter Jr.’s maturity has been called into question on numerous occasions. This could possibly be the reason the Rockets are hesitant to offer him a long-term deal fitting for a rising star. This past season, Porter Jr. and former teammate Christian Wood were suspended one game for verbal altercations with the coaching staff.
Wood was recently traded to the Dallas Mavericks and it is worth noting that Wood will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 season. It is possible that Wood was traded to avoid paying him big money.
There is a chance the same could happen to Porter Jr. if he refuses to sign the deal the Rockets offer him. Such an offer would likely be a shorter deal with a ton of incentives. If Porter Jr. balks at the offer, this could be his final season in Houston.
Houston is prioritizing cap space in 2023. They likely want to pair an established star with their young core and signing Porter Jr. to a lucrative contract extension could make their plan a lot trickier.
With a similar player in Jalen Green already on the roster, the Rockets might view Porter Jr. as expendable and his outbursts do not help his case. Fortunately, both sides seem to be mutually interested in getting a deal done and keeping Porter Jr. in Houston.