Report: Cleveland trades Kevin Porter Jr. to Houston for second-round pick

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Cleveland just wanted to get rid of Kevin Porter Jr.

Houston took advantage of that lack of leverage — and, clearly, a lack of teams offering much of anything for Porter — and have traded for him, giving up just a protected second-round pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The key for the Cavaliers is the Rockets are taking him into a trade exception.

Porter — who showed promise as a rookie last season, averaging 10 points a game in a limited role — was available via trade after throwing a tantrum in the locker room last Friday and getting into it with GM Koby Altman. 

When Porter showed up for a game last Friday, he found his locker had been moved, his old spot given to veteran Taurean Prince, who came over with Jarrett Allen in the four-team James Harden trade. Porter had his locker moved over to the part of the room with younger, end-of-the-bench guys. Porter lost it and threw a tantrum — and even threw some food. Altman came into the locker room and confronted Porter, and neither side backed down. That was too much for the Cavaliers.

Porter, the No. 30 pick in the 2019 draft, has a guaranteed $4.1 million contract over this season and next. Last season he looked like he could develop into part of the long-term backcourt rotation in Cleveland with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Porter has not set foot on the court yet this season due to personal reasons but reportedly was working his way back (he had been arrested in the offseason on a weapons charge, but it has been dropped).

It’s a good roll of the dice for a rebuilding Rockets team, which can give Porter limited run behind John Wall at the point (and Dante Exum, once he gets healthy).

The Rockets will waive the injured Chris Clemons to create the roster spot and eat his $1.5 million salary.