Despite what some may want you to believe, Kevin Porter Jr. being traded was not and is not a “significant” setback in the Cavs rebuild.
Kevin Porter Jr. was dealt by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Houston Rockets late Thursday night/early Friday morning for a heavily protected second-round pick. This ends a run in Cleveland that was marred with alleged assaults on a woman, drug possession, wrecking his car, a gun charge, and finally an unprofessional blowout with Cavs GM Koby Altman over a locker. Anyone who paid attention to Porter in college would tell you this was how it was always going to end. He was a Top-10 talent who went 30th overall in the NBA draft.
There was a reason for that. That’s why he hasn’t played all year, because his attitude sucks. The Cavs are 7-7 and that’s without a majority of their best players. Losing Porter isn’t a “significant setback” as Chris Fedor wrote. In fact, Fedor’s assertion that Porter was the “cornerstone” of the franchise is laughable at best and downright insulting at worst.
Firstly, he was the 30th pick in the draft. No matter what his upside is, no GM worth his salt would ever consider a pick that low as the “cornerstone” of a team. Maybe he can develop into it, but no one thought Kawhi Leonard or Giannis Antetokounmpo were franchise guys when they were drafted. They also didn’t achieve that moniker in year two either.
Secondly, no GM worth his salt would look at a player with the reputation and issues that Porter has and think “there he is, that’s our franchise guy”. Those guys never pan out in the NBA. Porter was O.J. Mayo version two at his best, and look what happened to him.
Thirdly, Sexton was always better than Porter and still is. He’s the best scorer on the team and was last year to boot. Porter wasn’t even a starter as a rookie, but Fedor thinks he was the franchise cornerstone and not Sexton? Maybe he’s being told that by someone close to the Cavs, and if so, then he gets a slight pass. In the event and likelihood that he isn’t being fed such nonsense, then his recent write really does just serve as a way to overemphasize and overreact to a mediocre player’s departure.
The world is not that boring that we have to manufacture this type of response to a move that helps the team.
The Cavs made the right call in trading a bench player away. They made the wrong move in taking him in the first place. Players with attitude issues rarely, if ever, succeed in the league.