Updated: Mar 13
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been in a perpetual rough patch for a while now. With the second departure of LeBron James to Los Angeles, the Cavs have come face to face with another rebuilding phase. Cleveland appears to be shifting their focus to the youth now, as players like Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Kevin Porter Jr, are gaining more attention. Specifically, a rookie player that has stood out for a while now is Kevin Porter Jr. A shooting guard from USC, KPJ has been a dynamic and explosive player for this young Cleveland team. Even when the team is collecting losses, Porter Jr still finds a way to be an engaging player.
Although the Cavaliers lost to the New York Knicks in overtime, KPJ was still able to leave his mark. With 12 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals, the young rookie out of USC was not going to fold against the Knicks. A few highlights from Porter Jr came in the form of a crisp pass to Nance Jr, leading to the Cavalier forward to score in a dominant fashion; another memorable play occurred when All-Star forward and team veteran, Kevin Love took to the hardwood to grab the ball, resulting in a pass to Cedi Osman, who took the ball up the court, found KPJ for the assist, and ended with a thunderous dunk from the rookie.
Kevin Porter Jr was selected in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft with the 30thoverall pick. Many voices across the NBA have said the 19 year old guard could be one of the biggest steals from the draft, and if you look at his stats and watch him play, it is not hard to see why. Although Cleveland will not be contending for a title for a while now, the fans can find some sort of relief knowing that members of their young core, like Kevin Porter Jr, will continue to develop into formidable players.