Coming into the league as an undrafted rookie, Craig Porter Jr. signed a two-way contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers but is quickly playing his way to a full deal. As the Cavs’ injuries stacked up, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff looked to Porter on the bench to help a depleted Cleveland backcourt.
Through his first few games with the Cavaliers, Porter played well in limited minutes, but he did not make a major difference. His first chance resulted in a -10 plus-minus in a loss to the Indiana Pacers, but Porter was unfazed by the rough result. In his most recent outing against the Nuggets, Porter outplayed his contract on both ends of the court with 21 points, 4 assists, 1 block and 1 steal. He has been an engine for the Cavaliers bench squad, igniting the team with his intelligent playstyle. Even though Porter is a rookie, his five years of college basketball experience shines with his veteran-level basketball IQ.
The Cavaliers need a confident player like Porter. He is making the most of every opportunity with the Cavs ever since he found his rhythm with the squad. If he continues this trajectory, it would be far from surprising to see Porter become a full-time Cavalier rather than a two-way prospect.
Without Porter, it is hard to imagine the Cavaliers staying competitive without so many key players. It was hard to know what potential Porter would show this year, but he is undeniably a secret weapon already. His instant impact on the Cavs is nothing short of proof of the endless talent the NBA has every year. Young talent extends far beyond the lottery or even the first round in the modern Association, and the Cavaliers scouting department has found a gold mine in Porter.