A Trojan Cavalier: Porter heads to Cleveland

first_imgFreshman guard Kevin Porter Jr. was selected 30th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Thursday’s star-studded NBA Draft.  The only Trojan drafted this year, Porter also became the first Trojan selected in the first round since Nikola Vucevic in 2011. Before the draft, the Bucks had agreed to trade forward Tony Snell and their 30th pick to the Detroit Pistons. After Porter was selected, the Pistons traded his rights to the Cavaliers in exchange for four second-round picks and $5 million. “I feel like I just have to show my character and everything to show that they can trust me, as a player and off the court,” Porter said at last month’s combine. Porter and Boatwright also hope to bolster the Trojans’ legacy in the NBA.  After missing the first two games of the season due to injury, he came back and played 31 games. Boatwright finished the season averaging 18.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, earning a spot on the All Pac-12 First Team. Considered one of the best players from the 2018 recruiting class, Porter signed on at USC hoping to make an immediate impact.  A 6-foot-6 guard out of Seattle, Porter was referred to by many as one of the most underrated players in the draft. Said to be a potential lottery pick, he was finally drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks as the first round came to a close. His season did not go as expected, as off-court misconduct and injuries led him to start just four times all season. “We are proud of Kevin [Porter] and look forward to following his NBA career,” said USC head coach Andy Enfield. Signing with the Detroit Pistons as an undrafted free agent, he hopes to make an NBA roster after spending all four years at USC, during three of which he was team captain. Porter became the third selection for the Men of Troy in the past three years, which ties for the fifth-most selections among all NCAA programs. In addition, both Porter and Boatwright hope to bring USC to eight total active players in the NBA. “[Porter] has reached his dream of being selected in the NBA Draft and provided a great example of what dedication and love of the game can do for a young player,” Enfield said. While Porter was the only Trojan to be chosen in this year’s draft, senior forward Bennie Boatwright signed with the Detroit Pistons shortly after the draft. In his senior season, Boatwright was an anchor for the USC squad.  Despite his brief time as a Trojan, Porter still made the most out of his opportunities.  In 21 total games with USC, he averaged 9.5 points, 4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He finished his freshman season on a high note with 17 points against Washington in the Pac-12 quarterfinals.last_img