Cavs: Range, motion improvement should make Kevin Porter Jr. more dangerous in PnR

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. drives. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. drives. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

In year 2, Kevin Porter Jr. could be primed for a big season for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kevin Porter Jr. showed plenty of flashes of big-time potential in his rookie year for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even as a bench contributor that started in only four games in his lone collegiate season at USC, Porter made his presence felt for the Wine and Gold.

In year 1, Porter had 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.9 steals in 23.2 minutes per outing, and looking at next season, it seems like a near-certainty that Porter will end up playing a starting minutes-share.

I’d still expect him to be in a bench role, but Porter should again, end up playing starting minutes, and him in a bench primary bucket-getter role seems very likely. Though he does need to be more consistent game-to-game, Porter displayed plenty of on-ball ability as a driver, and with his feel for changing speeds, he’s so difficult to keep out of the paint.

From there, Porter, especially for a 6-foot-4 natural 2, is such a gifted finisher with both hands, and his body control/strength allows him to get buckets often, even through contact. When on the subject of on-ball creation, looking onward, KPJ definitely has a high ceiling as a pick-and-roll ball handler also, as I previously detailed.

That said, as I hit on then, Porter does need to be more efficient on his pull-ups/off-the-bounce shooting to really end up more so fulfilling his potential.

Regarding that, though, in what’s essentially been an extended offseason for the Cavaliers, with them not being an Orlando team, it is encouraging that Porter has been sharpening up his shooting, and range.

That’s per a report from’s Chris Fedor, who noted how sources said how Porter “has focused on his 3-point shot – extending his range and becoming more consistent with mechanics after hitting just 33.5% from beyond the arc in 2019-20.”

Here was more on Porter’s shooting, from what Fedor said a source touched on involving KPJ’s shooting, seemingly in relation to individual work over this break, and the Cavs are currently conducting in-market bubble workouts, for context.

"“He’s so talented there’s not much he can’t do. He just moves so different,” a source said. “His shot looks really fluid right now. His form is a little higher than it was. He is a flat out bucket-getter so don’t want to mess with him too much, but just elevating it and putting a little more air under it. That’s been really good for him.”"

Factoring in these hopeful range/motion improvements, Porter should be more dangerous in the pick-and-roll for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As I previously alluded to, this report should aid Porter’s pull-up shooting, sure. Taking that a step further, realistically, though, improved range, a higher motion should make dangerous in the pick-and-roll game.

Porter only hit 33.5 percent from three-point range overall last season, but he did hit 40.7 percent of his catch-and-shoot triple attempts, per’s shot tracking data. He unfortunately only hit 25.7 percent of his pull-up triple attempts.

Albeit with this extended offseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Porter, he should be able to make strides with his pull-up game, though. And in the pick-and-roll, considering his driving prowess already, and with the impressive passing feel he showed in year 1, more capability as a PnR shooter will hopefully unlock him further on-ball.

Moreover, with him feasibly playing at the 1 for plenty of stretches in relief of Darius Garland, pick-and-roll work with Larry Nance Jr., a highly effective screener, should enable him to take full advantage of dropping bigs with hopefully deeper range, too.

Looking onward, if Porter does make strides as a pull-up threat in pick-and-roll situations, and of which I believe he will, with the space he generates and with him getting more comfortable, that will only open more passing and driving opportunities for him from there. I can already picture the catch-and-shoot triples from the now-fully healthy Dylan Windler, for example, off dishes from Kevin Porter Jr., even now.

So to reiterate, with extensive work on his shot/range before year 2 for KPJ, we could very well see a considerable improvement for him as a pull-up shooter, of which he shot only 28.1 percent in 2019-20.

But with ample time/work in it’d seem to make strides there, he should be even more capable as a slasher/playmaking threat next year, two areas where he clearly has showed a bunch for Cleveland already. And in the pick-and-roll, he should be even more dangerous as a result of the shooting work.

Lastly, projecting forward, with his star potential for down the road, even with 2019-20 leading scorer Collin Sexton in mind, it’s understandable that KPJ has been deemed “the most promising” of all the Cleveland Cavaliers young pieces, too, per a Fedor report.

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The more we read/hear about Porter, he seems destined for a breakout campaign in year 2 for Cleveland. And whether or not he does eventually start at some point, look for him to have a key role in closing stretches.