Locker Room Incident Latest Reason For Rockets To Make Trades

Houston Rockets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Houston Rockets have struggled to achieve much success during the 2021-22 NBA season. The team has posted a terrible 10-27 record—ranking at the bottom of the Western Conference. Now, it appears as though tempers are flaring.

The Rockets originally characterized Kevin Porter Jr.’s absence for the second of the team’s 124-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday as a ‘thigh injury’ but apparently theres more to the situation.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Kevin Porter Jr. left the Toyota Center during the second half of the Rockets’ matchup with the Nuggets after being challenged by assistant coach John Lucas, which lead to a ‘heated halftime discussion.’

Houston Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. lost his temper during a heated halftime discussion and didn’t return to the court, leaving the Toyota Center during the second half of Saturday’s 124-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets, sources told ESPN.

Porter became upset after assistant coach John Lucas challenged him, revisiting an issue that led to Porter losing his composure on the bench during the first half, sources said.

It was also reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania that Porter Jr. not only had a ‘heated exchange’ with Lucas, but also ‘threw an object’ before leaving the arena.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: These 3 Teams Could Pursue Trade For Rockets’ Christian Wood

Porter Jr. isn’t the only player with negative attention on the Rockets, either. Christian Wood did not start against the Nuggets after missing. his COVID-19 testing window. However, he also got called out by Lucas for playing with a lack of effort—causing Wood to decide to refuse being subbed into the game in the second half.

There already was speculation about whether the Rockets should look to trade Wood or not. He signed up to play with James Harden when he came to Houston—not to be part of a long-term rebuild. It seems frustration is mounting and with Wood being signed only through 2022-23, it may be best to move on via trade.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: These 3 Teams Could Pursue Trade For Rockets’ Christian Wood

Kevin Porter Jr., on the other hand, has a negative reputation from his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers after an incident where he threw a chair after discovering his locker had been moved to make room for Taurean Prince. Is it worth just disciplining the 21-year-old and moving forward? Or is moving on from him the best option? That’s up to the Rockets organization to decide.

The Rockets knew what they were signing up for when they acquired Porter Jr. on lowered trade value from the Cavaliers. Perhaps they will work through those concerns.

There is still a need for the Houston Rockets to move Eric Gordon and DJ Augustin to gain more assets at the NBA trade deadline. It seems at the very least, adding Christian Wood onto that list makes a lot of sense and continues to have a stronger case as days go on. Oh, yeah, and John Wall still is getting paid a supermax to not play, too.

About Grant Afseth 1124 Articles
Grant Afseth is a contributor to NBA Analysis Network who specializes in creating in-depth analysis. He also covers the Texas NBA teams for FanNation.