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Salman's Grades: Kevin Porter agrees to 4-year, $82 million contract extension with Rockets
The grade here was initially going to be a B+, but then the details came out.
I am utter disbelief that the Rockets were able to pull this off. It’s remarkable that the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement even allows this kind of deal to be possible. Even more remarkable that Porter signed the deal as quickly as he did instead of testing restricted free agency waters. This deal was such a steal for Houston that a part of me believes Rafael Stone should be assessed with some sort of felony.
At least a misdemeanor.
A four-year deal worth $82 million already looked like decent value, but these incentives are completely ludicrous. Whatever reservations you have with Porter as a player (and I share some of them), he absolutely deserves more guaranteed money than this. I understand why the Rockets were in such a position of leverage given his off-court antics, but as soon as this deal expires, Porter should seek new representation.
Unless his camp was able to say with 100% certainty that they couldn’t secure more guaranteed money, they probably shouldn’t have signed on the dotted line. A part of me believes this deal doesn’t happen if Dennis Schroder didn’t get absolutely squeezed by the market after turning down his extension offer from the Lakers.
But back to the Rockets.
This deal gives the organization a ton of security moving forward. Not only does it protect them from disaster scenarios, but it gives them optionality in future free agencies. For example, Houston was sitting at about $65 million in cap space next summer without Porter’s contract. They can basically open that back up again at any time this season or this summer.
The fact that they have the option to open up at least $20 million in cap space by ousting Porter over the next two summers is insane. I don’t know else to say about this deal. It’s left me completely speechless. Words no come out.
The fact that they pulled this off only months after getting what I consider to be the best contract of the summer in Jae’Sean Tate’s deal is even more incredible. I’m now comfortable saying this: the Rockets clearly haven’t lost a step as a front office since Rafael Stone took over for Daryl Morey. You may not agree with all of Stone’s moves, but he’s built himself one of the best resumes for a young sports executive.
The Rockets should be considered one of the best organizations in the NBA again. They didn’t need it, but this new front office has my full vote of confidence. Any skepticism I had about them over the past two years has been eradicated because they continue to get these big decisions right in a major way.
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