Report: Kevin Porter Jr. to Give Cavs ‘Rare’ Discount on Rookie Contract

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The last of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ three first-round picks in last month’s NBA draft was University of Southern California guard Kevin Porter Jr.

A new report indicates that the rookie’s recent contract signing might have gone unnoticed if not for the rare accommodation he offered to the Cavaliers with respect to their luxury tax costs.

The reported rookie-scale contract for Porter is $1.3 million in the first year. That means that Porter is offering the Cavaliers a temporary discount of slightly over $600,000, while his salary in the latter three years will match 120 percent of scale.

The logic in the Cavaliers offering this type of contract is because they have a number of large salaries coming off their books after the 2019-20 season. Chief among them are Tristan Thompson ($18.5 million), Brandon Knight ($15.6 million) and John Henson ($9.7 million), though Thompson could be re-signed at what would undoubtedly be a lower rate.

In addition, another of the potential free agents for the Cavaliers after next season is guard Jordan Clarkson, who will be making $13.4 million for the upcoming year. While the Cavs are presumably interested in re-signing him, they could end up trading him by the February deadline if they fail to come to an agreement.

One other contract that will also be done is that of exiled veteran guard J.R. Smith, though he’ll either be traded away or paid the $4.4 million guaranteed portion of his contract by the end of this month.

Porter was one of three guards the Cavaliers drafted during the first round, joining fifth overall pick Darius Garland and 26th overall selection Dylan Windler. While Porter is now signed, he’s not taking part in Summer League action in Las Vegas.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.