CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers went to extremes to help forward Kevin Porter Jr. He pushed them too far.
Cleveland has decided to move on from the troubled and talented player, a person familiar with his standing with the team told The Associated Press on Monday.
The Cavs are shopping Porter around to see if they find can a trade partner before they’ll consider releasing the 2019 first-round draft pick, said the person on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Porter has not played this season and only rejoined the team last week after tending to personal issues, which included a legal issue from November. The 20-year-old was in street clothes and on the bench Friday night when the Cavs beat the New York Knicks.
But after the game, Porter reportedly became angry when he learned the Cavs had moved his locker for newly acquired forward Taurean Prince, who came over in the four-team trade with the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the week.
According to reports, Porter had a heated confrontation with general manager Koby Altman.
Following Monday’s practice, during which the Cavs welcomed center Jarrett Allen and Prince on the floor for the first time, coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he was disappointed things didn’t work out with Porter.
“We all want to see Kevin be successful and I still feel that way, so whatever it is that happens in the future for him, I hope nothing but the best for him,” Bickerstaff said. “It’s part of our responsibility as coaches to give everyone our all and try to make the best of every situation and I can say that we did that.”
The Cavs have always been intrigued by Porter’s ability, but his problems off the floor slowed his development and made him a distraction.
In November, he was involved in a single-car accident, and police found a loaded handgun and marijuana in his car. Porter contended he didn’t know the gun was there. Charges were dismissed.
The team worked with Porter in trying to get his life together. He seemed to make progress and returned to the Cavs last week for practice only to have the outburst on Friday the team deemed as a breaking point.
Cleveland drafted Porter with the No. 30 overall pick in 2019 knowing he had issues while at Southern California. As a rookie, he averaged 10 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 50 games.
The Cavs once viewed him as part of a their young core with Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and others. Now, they’re just hoping Porter can start fresh elsewhere.
“We’ll keep building together,” Bickerstaff said. “All we want is the best for him moving forward. No matter what that looks like, we want the best for Kevin.”