Rockets Will Be Cautious In Kevin Porter Jr. Contract Talks

Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Houston Rockets already made their first big move of the NBA offseason. They agreed in principle to a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, sending out arguably the best player on their team, Christian Wood.

In return, they received four players, Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss. The centerpiece of the package is the No. 26 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Because of the Stepien Rule, this trade will become official after the draft, so the Mavericks will be picking someone for the Rockets.

All four of those players are on expiring deals, so the Rockets aren’t taking on any long-term money. That seems to be something they are cautious about, as it is playing a part in their negotiations with Kevin Porter Jr. as well.

Porter is entering the fourth season of his NBA career. He was the No. 30 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but off-the-court issues resulted in him being traded to Houston shortly after his career began.

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With the Houston Rockets, he has shown some flashes of the immense upside that he possesses. There was hope that Porter would be a franchise cornerstone along with Jalen Green, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, however, inconsistency has plagued him.

As a result, extension talks with him are going to be methodical. According to Tim McMahon of ESPN, Houston is going to be very cautious when negotiating an extension, if they do one at all.

This is the right decision for the Rockets as it wouldn’t make sense financially to commit to Porter right now if there are still any hesitations. The 2023 offseason is when Houston is expected to have a lot of salary cap flexibility, so they want to retain as much of that as possible.

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Since Porter would be a restricted free agent, the Houston Rockets could match any offer sheet that he signs. So, unless they do not want to keep him, they will have the opportunity to re-sign him next offseason after he gets another year of showing the franchise what he can do.

With a projected cap hold of $9.6 million, there is no rush for Houston to work out an extension. Unless Kevin Porter Jr. is willing to sign for less than that number, waiting things out is the best course of action for them.