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Kevin Porter Jr extended in Houston? It’s gone pretty well.

Member of the beautiful Draft 2019, Kevin Porter Jr started his NBA adventure in Cleveland but it is in Houston that we have been observing him for a few months now. Between a few ups and a few downs, the Rockets playmaker is about to start his 4th professional season and a big question is hanging around the Texas streets right now: will KPJ be extended, and if so for how much?

It’s next on the list, normally.

The list ? But yes, that of the members of the 2019 Draft, who were extended before the start of their fourth year in the NBA. You know the classic, when you have had three great seasons with the pros, you can be entitled to a nice extension in your team. This is what makes, in particular, that Ja Morant and Zion Williamson were immediately locked by the Grizzlies and Pelicans this summer, just like Darius Garland in Cleveland. But if the Cavs remember well that evening in June 2019, when they chose Garland and Kevin Porter Jr (30th) in the first round in addition to Dylan Windler, this good KPJ now wears the colors of Houston and they are the decision makers. Rockets who will have to answer this beautiful question. To extend or not to extend?

Faced with this first intrigue, the current response seems clear: Houston wants to extend KPJ, and KPJ wants to extend to Houston. We are talking about a current response, and sources have multiplied over the past few weeks to confirm the trend. Shams Charania end of July in The AthleticMichael Scotto in early August at HoopsHype, you can choose your preferred entry point and you will come across the same obvious. It must be said that the stars are aligned. Full of talent, Kevin Porter Jr has shown that he can excel and be a clutch, and that he needs a good environment to develop. His eruptions are still numerous and current, but the coaching staff of Stephen Silas and the confidence given by Rafael Stone has lifted a weight from the shoulders of KPJ. At Houston, he feels accepted, not singled out. And the idea here is not to assert that the Cavs did the opposite, but in fact the ease is evident. If we listen to the Porter Jr camp, it is with the Rockets, alongside Jalen Green, that the future must be written.

Now that the player’s point of view is established, what about the franchise? This is where Stone and his associates are getting a lot of people talking this summer. Between the uncertainty in Brooklyn, the draft picks in stock, a great youth with high potential and room in the salary cap, Houston is now positioned as one of the darlings of the NBA over the coming months, with a certainly grandiose summer of 2023 in the presence of two potential max contracts to be offered to stars. This is all just an option, but in fact, the Rockets are at a turning point in their recent history that is terribly promising. And in this kind of situation, the watchword is the following: do not screw up your gestures. Which means in particular, in translation, not distributing bullshit contracts to anyone. In this sense, Kevin Porter Jr is not just anyone… but who is he really in the NBA landscape? Because one night we’re talking about James Harden 2.0, and the next day it’s Gerald Green. We spoof, but there is this uncertainty and irregularity, not to mention his real position and real role in the NBA, which creates powerful questions.

Take Terry Rozier, Boston era, who had taken almost 60 million over 3 years in a sign and trade in Charlotte. A strong scorer, not to mention a future star but with great potential to develop, Rozier shocked the world with this deal but few have talked about it since. It was a nice move from the Hornets, who wanted to take advantage of Terry’s talent while separating from Kemba Walker, and without financially handcuffing themselves in the long term. We can imagine on this basis, at 18-20 million dollars per season, that the Rockets will be able to look into future discussions with Kevin Porter Jr. And to see if, faced with this type of contract, the player will be happy or s he will prefer to play his rating on the floor. In particular, we saw John Collins and the Hawks at odds over a recent contract (Deandre Ayton and the Suns as well), before going into the restricted free agency market to get a big chunk of money. Maybe KPJ, seeing this model, will want Houston to pay dearly for it in a year. But given the Rockets’ desire for flexibility in 2023 and the possibility of the volcano erupting again in the coming season, won’t it make more sense to take the contract available this fall, in order to lock in a future of promising prospect?

Until mid-October, the Rockets and Kevin Porter Jr can extend their adventure on a contract that will make everyone agree. Today, the two camps are looking in the same direction, waiting to see if this look extends to the amounts and the duration. See you in a few weeks to deliberate on this fascinating affair.

Source: The Athletic – HoopsHype

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