Kevin Porter Jr. Rebuilding the Cleveland Cavaliers a painful blow Business: Chris Fedor


Cleveland, Ohio – The Cavaliers had no choice.

Kevin Porter Jr. – a 6-foot-4 wing who teased fans, teammates, coaches and officials with a promising rookie season dotted with a court-draw of star qualities – here in Cleveland Was not going to reach capacity. . Therefore, the Cavs agreed late Thursday night to send Porter to the Houston Rockets in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Head coach JB Bickerstaff, who oversees Porter’s development at the start of the 2019-20 season, while Bakerstaff was still John Beelyn’s head assistant, could not consistently get through Porter – even though Bickerstaff was a great communicator as a league guide Known as, leader and culture-maker.

General Manager Coby Altman, who began promoting a bond with Porter during his erratic Freshman season at USC, often checks in with the troubled young man through text and spends a lot of time on campus to get to know him, Can’t get through Porter anymore. . At least, not enough to pull him back after months of abuse.

“The organization did everything more for him,” a league source told cleavagepedia. “They went above and beyond. They gave him more opportunities than most franchises. “

Now the Rockets will try to save Porter from destroying their careers – the beginning of an expectation that quickly spirals with too much free time during a pandemic spreading offspring, a string of poor decisions and immaturity away from the court Then comes, first from Seattle to USC and then to college in Cleveland. Always one step forward and a few steps back.

For Houston, this is a low-risk, high-reward move – a worthy gamble for an organization that recently dealt with James Harden for the Brooklyn Nets and has assistant coach John Lucas, who has an off- There is a history of helping reclamation projects with court issues. . If this does not work, the rockets leave nothing, as a heavily protected second rounder is unlikely to arrive.

For the Cavs, this is a significant setback in their rebuild.

Teammates consider Porter the most talented of the young corps, the player’s best path to stardom. Members of the front office considered him untouchable when rival teams arrived in previous trade talks. Was supposed to be a porter One – The focal point of this rebuild with the ability to change the trajectory, the finome they steal at the end of the first round.

Even after an offseason arrest, Porter was in Cleveland’s long-term vision, choosing his third-year option.

what could have happened. Flash on thursday. The Cavs agreed to a trade that was originally a salary dump. He had two options: not much in exchange for a deal porter or to forgive him outright. He chose the least painful, getting an open roster spot under the luxury tax for some wiggling room and a backup roster spot to help fill the short-lived void with Matthew Dellavedova indefinitely. Sidelined.

Cleveland, Ohio – FEBRUARY 29: Cleveland Cavaliers head coaches J.B. Bakerstaff, Kevin Porter Jr. # 4 and Coleen Sexton # 2 speak during the first half of February 29, 2020 at Rockland Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. User to Note: The User expressly accepts and agrees to download and / or use this photo, that the User is agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller / Getty Image)Getty Images

two way street

Make no mistake: Nobody looks good here.

No Porter, who used to get many opportunities to show the organization he learned from his mistakes, to prove that being an NBA player he has the emotional maturity to deal with everything. The Cavs set goals for him and Porter did not always work toward him, feeling disrespectful with the organization that kept him out for so long. They were hoping that he would respond in a different, more mature way or simply reply. They were also hoping that Porter would make a better choice when people around him came.

Cavus sympathized with her, recognizing her chaotic past and the burden it had on her, moving her family to Cleveland at such a young age to keep them safe and secure. Despite the time, effort, resources and extra care, it did not work. How would you help someone who is not willing to help themselves? How many times would you give before frustration building up and exhaustion?

Altman doesn’t look good either. He made a gamble nearly two years ago, paid $ 5 million and was a four-second round pick for Porter’s draft rights. The Cavs worked tirelessly to accumulate those assets. They are not in a position to throw them – even if just second-round players. Cavs knew all the reasons behind the Porter’s draft night plum. He did his homework, talked to countless people and met Porter in person. Despite some other teams taking Porter off the board, the Cads were loaded upside down, seeing a Harden-like offensive package and tantalizing two-sided traits.

His thought process: what does it look like for this child when we provide him with a framework he never has, a consistent routine he needs, proper eating, better sleep time, workouts, professional Coaching, some giants and Beakerstaff to show him. As a trusted guru?

It was not right in year one. There were some slipups. But his cheating season made it a wise bet.

Porter averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. He was one of the bright spots during the sometimes pathetic 19-win season that ended abruptly in March due to the COVID-19 epidemic. He dueled Harden in an engaging performance last December. Porter returned in February against the Miami Heat against a career-high 30 points.

Besterstaff often referred to Porter as one of the best passers on the roster and there was excitement about the possibility of using the 20-year-old swingman as a playmaking guard. Porter developed a close relationship with assistant coach Lindsey Gottlieb, who spoke of his love for the young.

Then all this changed over a long period of time. The porter was swept away.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks, 15 January 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Porter Jr. argued a call from an official in the first quarter of January 15, 2021 at the Rocket Quarter Fieldhouse.John Kuntz, Clevalieux

Winding road end

In August 2020, he was charged with punching a woman in the face. In October, Porter posted on her Instagram “Do you ever want to see the end of your time?” Posted a black square with the message. The incident led to the Cavs’ officers and teammates reaching out to him, and ensured that he was well and offered to help. He was involved in a one-car accident in November – arrested and charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, failure to control a vehicle and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. All those charges were dismissed.

Porter’s days with the Cavs reached a breaking point last Friday when, after learning of his place in the locker room he was upset with, he was given over to newly acquired forward Torian Prince. Porter returned to practice with the Cavs the day before – part of an undisclosed reinvestment plan.

That night, Altman came in and tried to talk him through the issue. But Porter will not calm down. Food was thrown. Tension increased. The verbal exchange between Porter and Altman was “inconvenient for everyone there,” said a source who witnessed it.

January 15 was the culmination of a lot of mistakes, including insulting teammates and staff members.

After that confrontation, Porter was asked to clean his locker and removed from the building, exiting the team, while the front office determined the next steps. Porter did not practice on Saturday and then Biskstaff, who has stated on several occasions how they are in the people’s business, taking care of their players beyond basketball, addressed the situation Monday afternoon.

“We all want to see Kevin succeed, and I still feel that way,” Beekerstaff said. “So whatever it is that happens for him in the future, I hope nothing but the best for him. And as a coach it is part of our responsibility to give our all to everyone and the best in every situation Try to make. I can say that we did it. “

Bickerstaff’s message focuses on solidarity, collective buying, accountability and discipline. The Cavs are trying to build a culture that is not yet firmly established. A surprising 7-7 start has propelled him in the right direction, currently one month into this strange season in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. They cannot afford all this for a player, no matter how talented he is. They were already gambling enough on him.

The Cavs didn’t want this. They stood by Porter after his arrest. They repeatedly referred to him as a good child at his core. This was not an impulsive decision.

There were probably some things they could do better. The same goes for Porter. Bickerstaff and Altman would certainly reflect on that. They will take a mirror test. But moving forward was the best – and only – option for everyone. Porter was the only person who could not live up to the organizational standard. If it continued to receive preferential treatment and endless possibilities, what would its core values ​​say? This was a message. In the word verb.

New core

With Porter gone, the focus was on the remainder of Cleveland’s young nucleus. Colin Sexton replaced Porter as the cornerstone. Low-maintenance Sexton has been one of the former best players on the six-month stretch that stretches until last December. His recent play helps lighten up the stinging.

The arrival of Jarrett Allen is a good boost, making the Cavs a future 22-year-old center who becomes the defensive linchpin. Dylan Winder is making a comeback and was a threat to Porter’s playing time. Torren Prince, Alan Deal’s throw-in piece, is still just 26 years old. Isaac Okoro has impressed the Cavs since being drafted fifth overall in November. Darius Garland showed exciting growth before suffering a sprained right shoulder. Don’t forget the unofficial Larry Nance Jr.

The Cavs chose culture over talent. But that doesn’t change the end result: Cleveland lost one of its treasured – and most important – building blocks.

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