Thunder trades for — and will waive — Rockets’ Kevin Porter Jr.

Thunder trades for — and will waive — Rockets’ Kevin Porter Jr.

The Thunder’s roster crunch led to a trade Tuesday for a guard facing off-court legal issues. But Kevin Porter Jr. won’t play a game for Oklahoma City.

Brett Dawson

By Brett Dawson

| Oct 17, 2023, 1:06pm CDT

Brett Dawson

By Brett Dawson

Oct 17, 2023, 1:06pm CDT

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Thunder’s roster crunch led to a trade Tuesday for a guard facing off-court legal issues. 

But Kevin Porter Jr. won’t play a game for Oklahoma City. 

Here’s what you need to know about the deal:

The trade

The Thunder is acquiring Porter Jr. and a pair of future second-round draft picks from the Rockets for guard Victor Oladipo and forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, according to a report from ESPN. 

The Thunder will acquire second-round picks from Minnesota in 2027 and Milwaukee in 2028, according to the ESPN report. 

What happens next

OKC is expected to immediately waive Porter Jr., who was arrested last month in New York for an alleged assault on his girlfriend, former WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick. 

Porter Jr. was charged with second-degree strangulation and third-degree assault. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. A second assault charge was dropped Monday. Prosecutors conceded Porter Jr. did not fracture a vertebrae in Gondrezick’s neck, according to a report by the New York Post. 

What it means

  • The trade gets the Thunder two steps closer — but not all the way — to an opening-night roster. By trading Oladipo and Robinson-Earl and waiving Porter Jr., OKC will have 16 players on NBA contracts and three players on two-way contracts, which allow players to split their time between the NBA and G League. NBA opening-night rosters can have a maximum of 15 players on NBA contracts along with three two-way deals. 
  • The two draft picks bring OKC’s total to 15 first-round picks and 22 second-rounders in the next seven drafts.
  • Porter Jr.’s contract pays him $15.8 million this season, so while he won’t play for the Thunder, he’ll count for that amount against the team’s salary cap. OKC will take a $1 million cap hit next season.

 

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Brett Dawson, the Thunder beat writer at Sellout Crowd, has covered basketball for more than 20 seasons at the pro and college levels. He previously worked the Thunder beat at The Oklahoman and The Athletic and also has covered the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers. He’s covered college programs at Louisville, Illinois and Kentucky, his alma mater. He taught sports journalism for a year at the prestigious Missouri School of Journalism. You can reach him at [email protected] or find him sipping a stout or an IPA at one of Oklahoma City’s better breweries.

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