Stadium’s Shams Charania reported on Wednesday that the Houston Rockets are looking to trade Kevin Porter Jr. The Rockets are even ready to send several second-round draft picks along with him. In return, Houston is reportedly looking for a player who can “play immediately.”
In a vacuum the trade makes sense. Of the four seasons remaining on Porter’s deal, only the upcoming one is guaranteed. If the Rockets are through with Porter’s volatile personality, why not trade this talented player and some picks that likely won’t turn into star players?
The problem is that this volatile personality was recently arrested for felony assault and strangulation after an alleged attack on his girlfriend. For this to be the latest misdeed in a career full of them, Rockets team owner Tilman Fertitta should not be trying to profit off of this situation. The person with “Hospitality Matters, no Matter the Business,” as the title of the first chapter in his book Shut up and Listen! Hard Business Truths that will Help you Succeed, should know that there is nothing hospitable about trying to salvage Porter.
This is not to say that Porter is incapable of change, but considering that he could possibly be headed to prison, Fertitta needs to stop talking to teams, and do whatever is necessary to get the young guard off of the roster. Porter has been given plenty of chances to clean up his act. But prosecutors say Porter left his girlfriend with a fractured neck vertebra and a deep cut above her right eye.
Also, according to Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Mirah Cuzer, this is not the first incident between Porter and his girlfriend. Cuzer claimed that there was a different incident in which Porter slammed his car into hers.
The 23-year-old hoopster pleaded not guilty to felony assault and strangulation charges.
He will have his day in court. Adam Silver said at the NBA Board of Governors Press Conference that the Association will be taking its time in gathering information on these allegations against Porter before making a decision, because there are no games on the schedule for a while.
The legal system and the NBA will rightfully conduct their own investigations, but Fertitta should have waived Porter immediately. The entire reason that a player of Porter’s caliber is not on a fully guaranteed contract is due to his conduct. There were legal issues while he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers when he was alleged to have committed a violent act against a woman and also flipped a car while driving with a gun.
In the first incident, no charges were ever filed and his lawyer denied the claims that Porter threw a drink in a woman’s face and punched her in the side of the head. In the second, all charges against Porter were dismissed. However, after a temper tantrum in early 2021, the Cavs traded him to the Rockets. His current franchise has suspended him for an altercation with former assistant coach John Lucas.
Hopefully, something can be arranged to get Porter the help he needs for his anger, because whatever has been done is not working. But at this point, the Rockets cannot help him, and they are clearly done trying. They want him gone, but Fertitta is trying to squeeze as much juice out of Porter as possible. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze, and the act of Fertitta squeezing is offensive.