Cavs: Best-case scenario for Kevin Porter Jr. for next season

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. reacts in-game. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. reacts in-game. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Kevin Porter Jr. is one of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ top young weapons.

Kevin Porter Jr. was a potential lottery pick heading into the 2019 NBA Draft. At least that’s what it seemed like. He ended up falling to the 30th pick of the draft, and the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired him via cash considerations and future draft capital sent to the Detroit Pistons, who acquired the pick shortly before via trade with the Milwaukee Bucks.

There were some questions regarding Porter based on his collegiate tenure at USC, but people many viewed him as a promising pick and a likely steal for the Cavaliers.

Fast forward to shortly before Wednesday’s 2020 NBA Draft, and Porter played in 50 games, mainly off the bench, and averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per outing in year 1. That was in a season that the Cavs had 65 games, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic/them not being an Orlando squad. He shot 33.5 percent from three-point range and 44.2 percent from the field.

While these numbers aren’t through the roof, Porter showed a lot of promise in his rookie season, especially with his tools and ability to create in isolation. The potential is there, but what happens if he realizes it? Hopefully we see that game-to-game next season, and he’s more than capable of that.

The best-case scenario for Porter for next season is to become a consistent and clutch isolation scorer game-in and game-out for the Cavs.

Porter averaging 15-16 points per game would seem to fit that, and with him seeming likely to have an expanded role, that’d seem feasible.

The Cavaliers currently have way too many questions marks on the roster. Whether it’s due to trade rumors and possibilities, or unproven players, the roster is just filled with uncertainty.

So it’s hard to say the best-case scenario is him starting. He could still play off the bench and have a better season even without hypothetically starting. It may benefit him to play in a sixth man/primary bench scoring role and help down the stretch.

With the Cavs committed to seeing how this Collin Sexton and Darius Garland duo pans out for the time being it’d seem and potentially adding a defensive wing through the draft with their fifth pick or free agency, starting might not be the best option or in the cards, until we get more answers this next season.

For now, he can potentially be a dominant bench scorer and bring life to the bench unit. His ability to score in isolation has been shown both on the court and in this past offseason with videos surfacing. As KJG’s Dan Gilinsky noted recently, NBA trainer/skills coach Chris Brickley in a recent post said, after working with him, that he believes Porter is “one of the best iso wings in the league.”

Using these tools down the stretch could be huge for the Cavaliers, as when the opportunities present themselves, they could use a guy they can rely on to hit the final shot with a game on the line, and to be a potential key option to have if/when defenses key in on Collin Sexton. Moreover, Porter can score without any help and has the capability to create points from anywhere.

There is an open spot for someone to take that role for the team, and taking over that role would be important for the Cavs, and Porter, if he can be more consistent game-to-game, has the ability to do so.

Porter has the athleticism and tools to make it hard for defenders to check him. Once he sharpens these tools and becomes a more efficient shooter, the sky is the limit for a player like that. And for further context, though, Porter, for a young guard, hitting 68.7 percent of his shots in the restricted area in 2019-20, per’s shooting data, was very encouraging from an on-ball creation sense.

Anyhow, he has shown glimpses of why he is so promising and could be a dominant player. The current roster may hold him back from that for a bit, but if Porter can have a big impact in a bench role, it will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff no reason but to build a starting lineup around him eventually.

The Cavs are desperate for young talent right now and there is an argument that could be made that Porter is the most valuable young player on the roster due to his potential.

Best-case scenario for Darius Garland for next season. dark. Next

If he can put this whole thing together, he will be a problem for years to come for defenses.