It was expected for USC freshman guard Kevin Porter Jr. to be selected in the 2019 NBA Draft. Although he had to wait a while, Porter Jr. heard his name selected in the first round. The former Trojan is headed to Cleveland after being selected by the Cavaliers with the No. 30 overall pick.
LONG, LONG, LONG OVERDUE.— SLAM (@SLAMonline) June 21, 2019
Kevin Porter Jr. is about to prove EVERYONE wrong as the No. 30 pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers. pic.twitter.com/esDjIMyQzG
The pick originally belonged to the Milwaukee Bucks, however they traded the pick to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. Come draft night the Pistons traded that pick to Cleveland which turned into Kevin Porter Jr.
With that selection, the Cavs made Kevin Porter Jr. the first USC Trojans basketball player to be selected in the first round since 2011 when Nikola Vucevic was selected. The Trojans had a series of players drafted in the first round from 2006-2011 and has had a history of players selected in the NBA Draft through the recent years.
Porter Jr. slipped in the draft considering that some projected him to be a lottery pick. While it’s unknown why he fell so far in the draft, some call the Cavaliers pick a steal considering what Porter Jr. brings to the table. His ability to score and get to the basket in different ways intrigues a lot of scouts. It will be interesting to see how Porter Jr. complements Cavaliers point guard Colin Sexton. According to Chris Fedor of Advance Ohio, the Cavaliers brought Porter Jr. in for a private workout back on June 9th and considered him a top 10 talent in the draft.
During his freshman season, Porter Jr. averaged 13.7 points per game and 3.7 rebounds. Unfortunately his freshman season didn’t go quite as planned. Porter Jr. missed all of December with a thigh bruise. He managed to return just in time for Pac-12 play, however the freshman was suspended for team conduct violation where he was forced to sit another 2 games. In the Pac-12 Tournament Porter had an outstanding showing which showed why he was considered a lottery pick. In their loss to Washington the freshman had 17 points and 6 rebounds. It would also be his last game with USC.
The Cavaliers passed on Porter Jr. twice when they selected Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland with the No. 5 pick and Belmont forward Dylan Windler with the No. 26 pick. It will be interesting to see where the former Trojans guard fits in the franchises plan, however Porter Jr. will have summer league to make an impression. This could be a steal for the Cavaliers.