Houston Rockets: Kevin Porter Jr. continues to prove he was worth the risk

Houston Rockets Kevin Porter Jr. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Rockets Kevin Porter Jr. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Houston Rockets’ risk in acquiring Kevin Porter Jr. has paid off thus far. 

There’s nothing about Kevin Porter Jr. that has been easy or straightforward throughout his early career in collegiate and professional basketball, with the exception of the on-court talent that he has shown through the last few years.

Porter’s talent has never been questioned, but his off-the-court concerns and “immaturity” are what made him a late first-round pick when he clearly had lottery talent and what led to his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this year.

Nevertheless, the Houston Rockets took the risk and elected to bring Porter in via trade. And as the Rockets head into the final few games of the regular season, it’s become clear that their risk in bringing in Porter has more than paid off thus far.

Kevin Porter Jr. could find a home with the Houston Rockets

In the 23 games that he’s played this season with the Rockets, Porter is averaging 17 points, six assists, and four rebounds per game on 43 percent shooting from the field. He’s been every bit worth the risk and has proven to be every bit as talented as many believed him to be.

He’s found a role with this lowly Houston team and has emerged as a young piece of their rebuilding puzzle. And that was all punctuated by a 50-point, 11-assist career night as the Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night.

This wasn’t the first time Porter has flashed as a member of the Rockets either. Over the course of the 23 games he’s played in, Porter has scored at least 20 points in nine of those contests. Porter is a physically gifted offensive talent that just needed an opportunity and room to roam – something that he clearly didn’t get enough of with the Cavs, which led to his frustration.

With the Rockets, Porter has that luxury. He’s been given a defined role and one that Porter hasn’t disappointed in. He’s given the Rockets every reason to believe that he can be a true difference-maker in the league, especially on the offensive end of the floor.

The Rockets have had a season to forget, between being forced to trade James Harden and having to navigate through debilitating injuries after a strong start to the season and a 20-game losing streak, but the flashes of potential from Porter should give this team some confidence moving forward.

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The risk, at least thus far, has paid off for the Rockets as it pertains to acquiring Porter.