Kevin Porter Jr has become the most recent poster boy for "Pro Athlete Scumbag Who Physically Abuses Women." This POS should be finding himself out a job shortly. He has $15.8M guaranteed for this upcoming season, and only $1M guaranteed beyond that on a 4 year deal. Houston is said to be looking at trades for him now, and is taking some heat for trying to profit off the situation. That sounds ridiculous to me because it's not the organization's fault he acted in this manner. Granted, they rolled the dice on acquiring him with a checkered past and questionable character, but they shouldn't be villainized for trying to operate their team like a business.
If they can use his contract as a means to replace him as a contributable asset, then they should absolutely do so. In fact, we may have found the solution to grease the skids on the Dame trade. Houston is said to be willing to attach draft picks to Porter's contract to move him, so here we go. A four team blockbuster that should be satisfactory for all parties.
Portland OUT: Damian Lillard and Nassir Little
Portland IN: Kyle Lowry, Cam Whitmore, Nicola Jovic, Porter Jr (immediately waived) 2025 Top 8 First protected from San Antonio, 2025 First from Houston via OKC or Brooklyn, 2028 and 2030 unprotected Firsts from Miami, 2024 Second from Houston via GSW protected 56-59, and a pick swap option with Miami in 2027.
Miami OUT: Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Jamie Jacquez Jr, Nicola Jovic, 2028 and 2030 unprotected Firsts from Miami, and a pick swap option to Portland in 2027.
Miami IN: Damian Lillard, Devonte Graham, Jae'sean Tate
Houston OUT: Kevin Porter Jr, Cam Whitmore, Jae'sean Tate, 2025 First via OKC or Brooklyn with wild scenarios and protections, 2024 Second via GSW protected 56-59
Houston IN: Devin Vassell, Nas Little, Jamie Jacquez Jr, Reggie Bullock (immediately waived)
San Antonio OUT: Devin Vassell, Devonte Graham, Reggie Bullock, 2025 First (Top 8 protected)
San Antonio IN: Tyler Herro
Everyone's cap sheet for 23'-24 is hardly affected after these trades. All of them are plus or minus within a couple million dollars afterwards, so it works financially. Portland would have to cut two of their recent signings between Reath, Brown, and Knox to make the trade work.
Why for Portland?: Because duh. 4 first round picks, two of which are unprotected, another Top 8 protected, a second, and a swap when we hopefully catch Miami on a down year as we are moving into playoff contention. Plus we land a blue chip prospect in Whitmore. Something caused him to fall drastically in the draft, but he acquitted himself quite nicely in Summer League. There's no doubt there is elite athleticism with him, which aligns around Sharpe and Scoot. He could be a fantastic SF next to them. He just needs to learn to play disciplined within a structured team concept. Ceiling is huge with him though. Lowry comes into to coach up Scoot, especially defensively, and help give veteran guidance to a young team until we cut him after the trade deadline so he can sign with a contender. However, his $30M plus Porter's $17M will both come off the books next season, along with Andrew Nicholson, thereby giving Portland a whopping $50 MILLION DOLLARS IN CAP RELIEF next season. Let's go!
Why for Miami?: Again, Duh. Dame Time makes a run with Jimmy and Bam. Graham backfills Lowry. Good luck in your 2-3 year quest.
Why for Houston?: Dump Porter and gain Vassell, who will be a restricted free agent next summer. They are loaded with guards and really don't need Vassell long term, however, he fills a lot of the gap with Porter gone, and he could then become the ultimate sign and trade candidate next summer, as that should be their goal. They don't need him long term. Get one season out of him, and flip him for another asset next summer. Jacquez and Nas are two guys who bolster your wing spot and take the time allocated for Whitmore. Let's be honest, Houston has stockpiled too much young talent. They can't possibly play everyone the development minutes they require. I'd prefer Eason to Whitmore, but Eason feels like a more proven commodity and could develop into a high level defender and utility player. Those kinds of forwards are golden and difficult to let go. Whitmore is more of an unknown and Thompson is going to be taking a lot of the SF minutes with FVV and Green in the backcourt, not too mention Dillion Brooks who they just gave $80M too. Cam feels like the odd man out in this scenario.
Why for San Antonio?: This one feels like the biggest wild card in the trade. First, Herro is a better player than Devin Vassell. Bullock is salary fodder and doesn't factor in long term. Same with Graham. He's an overpaid, back up shoot first point guard for the next two seasons. SAS won't miss either one. They would have to re-sign Vassell next summer in free agency, but Herro is already locked up for three more years. Even if he's overpaid, their roster is cheap, and I can't see SAS landing a better free agent than Herro even with a lot of cap space again next summer. They have to think about a new deal with Zach Collins too. Herro gives spacing and playmaking around Wemby, and so the Spurs roll the dice. They do send us their 2025 first that would be Top 8 protected in the event they are still a bottom level team in a couple more seasons. They also control Atlanta's 2025 pick unprotected, as well as, Chicago's that's protected 1-10. They have plenty of draft ammo.
Even if this isn't it, the Porter saga may open new doors for Portland to get creative on maximizing the Dame trade.