Kevin Porter Jr. to Debut for Rockets After Being Recalled from G League

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 6, 2021

FILE - Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Porter Jr. drives against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Cleveland, in this Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, file photo. The Cavaliers are moving on from troubled and talented forward Kevin Porter Jr., a person familiar with his standing with the team told the Associated Press on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. The Cavs will either trade or release Porter, who has not played for them this season, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard-forward Kevin Porter Jr. is expected to make his debut with the Houston Rockets following the All-Star break, the team announced on Saturday.

The 2019 first-round pick was traded to Houston for a 2024 second-round pick in late January and has been working his way back to the NBA with a successful stint in the G League as part of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

In 15 games, Porter averaged 24.1 points, 7.3 assists and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 44.8 percent from the field in 36.0 minutes per contest.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported the Cavaliers moved on from the second-year player after he was involved in a screaming match with team officials in January. That followed a felony weapons charge stemming from a single-car crash in November.

A handgun was found in the glove compartment of Porter's Mercedes, but a grand jury declined to indict him after he proved he was unaware of its presence in the car.

"We all want to see Kevin be successful and I still feel that way, so whatever it is that happens in the future for him, I hope nothing but the best for him," Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the trade. "It's part of our responsibility as coaches to give everyone our all and try to make the best of every situation, and I can say that we did that."

The Rockets took things slow with Porter, sending him to the G League to reestablish himself on the court. They also intend to have assistant coach John Lucas guide him, as the coach has "has helped several NBA and NFL players to overcome personal issues to have successful careers," per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon.

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Now he joins a rebuilding Houston club that's placed an emphasis on providing minutes to younger players such as Christian Wood, Jae'Sean Tate and Danuel House Jr.

As Porter continues to improve, there's little holding him back from a fresh start with the Rockets.