Thunder waived Kevin Porter Jr. after trade from Rockets, assault charges

The Thunder also received two future first round draft picks in the deal with the Rockets

The Thunder waived Kevin Porter Jr. immediately on Tuesday night after landing him in a trade with the Rockets.
The Thunder waived Kevin Porter Jr. immediately on Tuesday night after landing him in a trade with the Rockets. (AP/Jacob Kupferman, File)

The Houston Rockets are trading Kevin Porter Jr., and two future second-round picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the teams announced on Tuesday night. The Thunder then immediately waived Porter.

Houston received Victor Oladipo and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl in the deal, too. The Thunder received a 2027 second-round pick via Minnesota and a 2028 second-rounder via Milwaukee.

Rockets general manager Rafael Stone announced Porter was no longer part of the Houston Rockets earlier this month. This came after he was arraigned on charges stemming from an alleged assault of his girlfriend last month.

The Thunder acquired the guard with plans to release him in order to purchase the picks, it appears. Oklahoma City now has 15 first- and 22 second-round picks across the next seven years.

It was previously noted the league has jurisdiction to void contracts under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Policy, but the Thunder will reportedly still be required to pay the $16.9 million guaranteed left on Porter's deal as they release him.

Porter was selected with the No. 30 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of USC. The Cleveland Cavaliers sent him to Houston after one season, a move that came after similar off-the-court issues. He was accused of punching a woman in the face in 2020, though no charges were filed. Charges were also dropped after Porter was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm in a separate incident.

Houston traded a protected second-round pick for him in 2021. That year, Porter reportedly had a "heated exchange" with assistant coach John Lucas II in the locker room, leading Porter to leave a game at halftime.

Prosecutors drop an assault charge

Porter appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court for a scheduled hearing Monday, during which prosecutors dropped one of the assault charges against him.

It was initially alleged, in part, that Porter fractured a vertebrae in his girlfriend's neck during an attack at a New York City hotel. Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Mirah Curzer cited "insufficient evidence" as the reason for dropping the charge of second-degree assault, according to the New York Post.

Porter's defense team shared documents with the Post to indicate the apparent neck fracture was actually a congenital defect, which Curzer used to claim that Porter did not cause the injury.

He still faces charges of second-degree strangulation and third-degree assault, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Porter is due in court again Nov. 27.

This article contains affiliate links; if you click such a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission.