January 21, 2021
NBA Rumors: Lakers Could Acquire Kevin Porter Jr. From Cavaliers, New Report Recommends

Although some recent trade ideas have suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers could make big pre-deadline moves for high-profile players such as Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, the club could also upgrade its bench in the weeks leading up to the March 25 deadline. One such idea would involve acquiring Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kevin Porter Jr., who drew controversy earlier in the week, days after an alleged altercation with team officials.

According to NBA Analysis Network, Porter may have earned an unsavory reputation in Cleveland, but it's possible that he could still be set "on the right track" if he gets to team up with respected, skilled veterans such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As such, the outlet recommended a deal that would allow Los Angeles to acquire Porter in exchange for veteran forward Jared Dudley and a second-round pick in the 2023 draft.

"It would be interesting to see the change in Porter Jr. once he is traded or released by the Cavaliers. Right now, his value is as low as its going to get and it's going to be a necessity that he turns things around off the court."
As explained by the publication, the Lakers still might need some additional shooting and athleticism in the backcourt despite the offseason acquisition of Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder. That, as noted, is where Porter would come in, as he could give the club an additional three-point shooter who could make up for Kyle Kuzma's perceived inconsistency from the perimeter. The site also speculated that the 20-year-old former USC star might benefit mentally if he moves from the rebuilding Cavs to the defending champion Lakers.

Kevin Porter Jr. of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball during a game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Getty Images | Jason Miller

A late first-round selection in the 2019 draft, Porter had a solid rookie year for the Cavaliers, averaging 10 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists and shooting 44.2 percent from the field, according to his Basketball-Reference player page. However, he has yet to suit up this season as he has been listed as inactive since the start of the 2020-21 campaign due to unspecified off-the-court issues.

As for the Cavaliers, the organization might not have much of a role for Dudley, who is averaging 0.5 points and seeing just 3.7 minutes of action per contest, per Basketball-Reference. However, NBA Analysis Network wrote that Cleveland could benefit from the hypothetical deal in other ways.

Given that the Cavs have failed to qualify for the postseason since James signed with the Lakers in the summer of 2018, the outlet speculated that there might be other players who are "getting tired of the constant losing," hence the need to part ways with a disgruntled player like Porter in order to improve team morale.