Cleveland officially acquired the draft rights to rookie Kevin Porter Jr. from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for up to four second-round picks and $5 million — an amount that was set to expire if the Cavs didn’t use it.
The deal was agreed to on draft night, but the trade call with the league didn’t take place until Wednesday.
Porter was originally selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 30th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft before having his rights sent to Detroit along with guard Tony Snell in exchange for forward Jon Leuer — a salary-related maneuver that is expected to help the Bucks potentially re-sign Malcom Brogdon, Khris Middleton and maybe even Brook Lopez.
The Cavs then acquired the last pick of the first round from Detroit, which was used on Porter— a talented but troubled shooting guard from USC who slipped down the board because of off-the-court problems.
Porter, a highly-regarded high school recruit from Seattle, Wash., was suspended during his freshman season at USC for unspecified reasons and struggled with an injury as well. On Cleveland’s radar throughout the pre-draft process, the Cavs gave up a 2020 second-rounder from Utah, a 2021 and 2023 second-rounder from Portland and Miami’s 2024 second-rounder that only conveys if it’s between 55 and 60.
Because that first trade between Milwaukee and Detroit involved two current players switching teams, there was a bit of a holdup before it was official. In the off-season, players have seven days to report to their new team and pass physicals as opposed two, which is the rule during the season. The Cavs couldn’t add Porter to their roster — or comment on him — until the previous deal was finalized.
On June 9, the Cavs held a private workout and meeting with Porter in Cleveland. The Cavs also met with Porter at the scouting combine. He was considered by at least one member of the Cavaliers front office as a top 10 talent in this year’s class and they are thrilled to add him to a haul that also includes fifth-overall pick Darius Garland and No. 26 pick Dylan Winder.
Porter and Windler will both play for the Cavs during summer league, which begins in Salt Lake City on July 1. The Cavs believed all along the deal with Detroit would go through in time for Porter to take part in the first summer league practice on June 28 in Park City.
As a freshman, Porter averaged 9.5 points on 47.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range to go with 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He capped his tumultuous season with a career-high 17 points in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal matchup against Washington.