Rockets call up Kevin Porter Jr from G League’s Vipers

Vipers guard Kevin Porter Jr. drives during a game against Raptors 905. - Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley Vipers

As expected, the Houston Rockets have recalled prized guard Kevin Porter Jr. after his successful run with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Porter averaged 24.1 points, 7.3 assists and 6.5 rebounds in 15 games with the Vipers. He compiled the G League’s first triple-double of the season — when he erupted for 27 points, 14 boards and 11 assists vs. the Erie Bayhawks on Feb. 25.

Porter is 6-foot-4 and was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers last month. He has yet to play a game for the Rockets — though he did practice with the team before joining the Vipers inside the G League bubble.

He is a shooting guard by nature, but spent some time at point guard with the Vipers.

“He’s moving in the right direction. He’s playing the point, pretty much exclusively, and making plays for himself and for his teammates,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas told reporters. “He’s super skilled. His ball-handling is good. At some point, when he gets back, he’ll be a part of what we’re doing.

“But him getting in shape, and getting game reps and having the success that he’s having down there is important. And it’s important to build on that. It’s very similar (the system) to what we do, so when he gets back, hopefully he’ll be able to fit right in.”

Porter averaged 10.0 points and 3.2 rebounds as a rookie with the Cavs.

The Rockets will soon be counting on Porter to join the veteran backcourt of John WallVictor Oladipo and Eric Gordon.

Porter has a major upside but his issues with the Cavs, including a locker-room blowup at general manager Koby Altman, are what the Rockets are looking to eliminate.

“He obviously is very talented, he’s versatile on both ends of the floor. He can do a lot on the basketball court,” Silas said. “We feel like we have the structure in place to let him be successful. … It’s up to us to have honest conversations, back and forth, and develop a relationship. But it’s an exciting thing, to have a young guy who has potential.”

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About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for OutKick, Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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