One of the biggest contributors for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their undefeated run in 2023 Las Vegas Summer League was not a player that came in with necessarily a ton of hype. He was a first-round pick, or even drafted at all. Nor was he one of the Cleveland Charge standouts from the season prior, such as Isaiah Mobley, Sharife Cooper or Sam Merrill.
Despite those caveats, Craig Porter Jr. quickly made his presence felt for the Cavaliers in Summer League, and he looks to have the makings of a steal by Cleveland. Porter, who is one of three Cavaliers players set to be on a two-way deal (with Mobley and second-round pick Emoni Bates being the others), could have a bright future with the Wine and Gold.
In Summer League, Porter had 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest in Cleveland’s six games, three of which were starts. He led the Cavs in assists, with those 5.3 per game in Vegas, and he was tied for second with five total steals and tied for third in total blocks with five.
He shot only one-of-nine from three (11.1 percent) in Vegas, but his playmaking on both ends of the floor was big-time for the Cavs, and he delivered for Cleveland on several occasions in big moments. It was Summer League, which one has to take with a grain of salt, however, Porter looked so comfortable out there, which was great to watch.
While him playing more of his meaningful time with the Charge next season would be realistic, he could seemingly receive some rotational time with the Cavaliers.
So, what could be Porter’s pathway to minutes with the Cavs?
It starts with Porter’s defense.