On a team with more-heralded Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. sometimes looked like the Cavaliers’ most-promising young guard last season.
But – after facing a weapons charge, which was later dropped – Porter has yet to play this season due to personal issues.
Now, his time in Cleveland might be finished.
Jason Lloyd, Joe Vardon, Shams Charania and Kelsey Russo:
Cavaliers guard Kevin Porter Jr. is expected to be traded or released following an outburst Friday in the Cavs locker room, The Athletic has learned from several sources with direct knowledge of the events.
Porter, 20, who has not played this season due to personal issues, grew angry when he entered the locker room and realized the team gave his old locker to Taurean Prince, who was acquired in a blockbuster trade Wednesday.
Sources said Porter, whose locker was moved to the wall where the younger, end-of-bench players reside, began yelling and at one point threw food.
Sources said general manager Koby Altman came into the locker room and confronted Porter, and the player remained combative with his boss.
This is a drastic step with a talented young player. The Cavs are clearly committed to setting a better culture.
Sexton and Garland playing better makes it an easier pill to swallow. But it’s still tough to lose a 20-year-old with Porter’s upside and fewer than two years onto his rookie-scale contract. Cleveland will get meager return in a trade – at best.
Maybe the Cavaliers should show more patience in helping Porter work though his issues. They would reap the rewards. But they also know best how deep this problem extends. The locker-room tirade might have been more the last straw than the whole problem. They’d been holding him off the court for a reason, even though his charges got dropped.
Even if the right move, this is a sour outcome for the Cavs, who just had reason to feel good about landing Jarrett Allen (and Taurean Prince) in the James Harden trade.
But at a certain point, you want to be more known as more than the food-throwing franchise.