After signing Fred VanVleet to a huge free agency deal, the Houston Rockets could look to trade Kevin Porter Jr. next.
Heading into the offseason, the expectation was that the Houston Rockets were going to try to make a substantial leap before the start of the 2023-24 season. And the hope was that they could pull off a big splash at some point during the offseason, whether that was at the NBA Draft or at the start of Free Agency. That’s exactly what the Rockets did just hours into the official start of Free Agency.
The Rockets made the splash of day 1 in Free Agency after agreeing to a colossal three-year, $130 million contract with Fred VanVleet. He is now one of the faces of the franchises. With a retooled backcourt, after also adding Amen Thompson with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, you can’t help but wonder what these two additions will mean for a player such as Kevin Porter Jr.
You can make the argument that the additions of Thompson and VanVleet this offseason will open the door for the Rockets to trade Porter. In fact, you can say they almost have to trade him at this point.
Do the Houston Rockets have to trade a guard?
Looking at their depth chart, there’s probably a strong argument for the Rockets to break up some of the logjams in the backcourt and make a trade. However, that doesn’t mean they have to. Finding minutes for VanVleet, Green, Thompson, Josh Christopher, and Porter, though, could be difficult to pull off.
Porter may be the odd man out, simply due to the fact that he’s the one player that likely deserves the starter-level minutes. And after the move for VanVleet and the drafting of Thompson, he’s simply not going to get them.
Porter is an intriguing possible trade candidate too. He’s coming off the best season of his career thus far in which he averaged 19 points, six assists, and five rebounds per game on 37 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Considering his talent, he’s also on a very affordable contract that is slated to pay him a little more than $60 million over the next four seasons with a team option for that fourth season. If there’s a team willing to take a gamble on a talented guard that may seem to have lost his spot in Houston, they should be calling as soon as possible.
The Rockets seem to be moving in a different direction with VanVleet, Green, and Thompson. It may truly be time for Houston to move on from Porter.