Kevin Porter Jr. May Be The Next James Harden

Porter Jr. was selected with the last pick of the first round in 2019 draft and ended up playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many analysts were saying he was a steal at this spot and had high hopes for the 19 year old out of USC. His numbers didn’t jump off the page in college only averaging 9.5 points 1.4 assists 4 rebounds and 2 turnovers a game while only starting 4 games all season. NBA scouts could see his potential though he was a 4 star recruit out of high school and was the 40th prospect in the 2018 ESPN top 100.

He has one of the craziest high school highlight tapes i have seen in awhile. His rookie year with the Cavs he averaged 10 points 2 assists and 3 rebounds but was stuck behind Collin Sexton and Darius Garland and his role on the team was diminishing only starting 3 games all year. Coming into the 2020-2021 season KPJ was not playing due to a weapons charge he faced and was away from the team. Once the Cavaliers traded for Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince the team gave Porter Jr's locker to Prince and he was not too found of that and had an outburst in the locker room and threw food at players. The writing was on the wall at this point that his time in Cleveland was over, and he was traded to Houston for a heavily protected 2nd round pick. The Rockets pretty much got this young player for nothing, he was immediately sent to the G-League to get his feet back from under him and played amazing. In 15 games Porter averaged 24 points 7 assists 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. He was an obvious lock for G-League MVP even against Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga who are projected 2021 lottery picks.

The rebuilding Rockets called up the young star on Saturday and he has played two games so far for the battered Houston team. He is averaging 20 points 9 assists 4 rebounds 2 steals and 1.5 blocks in two games for the bottom three team in the league while averaging 33 minutes per game. It is early but he has shown immense potential and I believe they will keep giving him heavy minutes to see what he can do. In his second game (first start) of the season Kevin porter Jr. made on of the most wild layups I have seen this year, if the Rockets are looking towards the future I expect them to keep giving him minutes and watch him blossom into one of the best young players in the league.


Twitter: @CalebHager_15

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