The Cavaliers may have snagged a hidden gem in Craig Porter Jr.

Craig Porter Jr., Wichita State Shockers. Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images
Craig Porter Jr., Wichita State Shockers. Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Craig Porter Jr., Wichita State Shockers. (Photo by William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports) /

Porter is a standout defender, and he has the makings of a good developmental two-way player

If meaningful minutes were to come for him with the Cavs, he could give them some good minutes as a point-of-attack defender, where he does quality work containing primary playmakers. Porter’s screen navigation is a strength of his defensively as well, and with length behind him, he could be solid in that area for spurts, too, and against some bigger guards, with his attention to detail in staying attached.

In addition, Porter’s combination of timing, basketball IQ, athleticism and activity all could lead to him being an impact off-ball defensive player. As we alluded to, he’s not huge, at 6-foot-2, and as a player who would probably project as a combo guard.

That said, he had a whopping 1.5 blocks per game last season with the Shockers, and led them in total blocks at that size, and he tacked on 1.5 steals per game as well.

He can wreak havoc on opponents as a rotator, and despite his stature, he is a big-time vertical athlete, who has a 40.5 inch vertical leap, as pointed out by Alex Kennedy of And Porter can make plays on the weak side to wipe away driving attempts, and he is always alert as a rotator in passing lanes. Cleveland has to have had that in mind when they signed him.

For his multifaceted play, Porter is a player who might be able to play minutes at both guard spots, if the chances were to arise this coming season and/or looking onward with the Cavaliers.

However, with a number of others involved, regardless of if Ricky Rubio eventually is in the fold again, regarding his mental health hiatus, Porter would seem to be on the outside looking in this coming season with the Cavs.

But, he helped his case in Vegas, and if he’s a training camp standout, that would continue to aid him in this situation. Porter is also an older prospect at 23, and that could lead to him maybe being able to contribute sooner than later within the Cavaliers’ rotation.

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Either way, though, he could be a hidden gem for the Cavs to have in their organization, and could be a quality player for them to have for stretches in the near future.