Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. charged with assault, strangulation

Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. charged with assault, strangulation

Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. charged with assault, strangulation

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. was arrested and charged with assault and strangulation after an incident at a New York hotel Monday morning, a New York City police spokesperson said.

Police responded to a 911 call reporting an assault at 6:45 a.m. and arrested Porter, 23, after an investigation. Both charges are felonies.

The incident involved Porter's girlfriend, a former WNBA player, sources told ABC News.

"Upon arrival officers were informed that a 26-year-old female sustained a laceration to the right side of her face and was complaining about pain to her neck," the spokesperson said. "A preliminary investigation on scene determined that a known individual struck her multiple times upon her body and placed his hands around the neck."

The woman was transported to the hospital for evaluation, the police spokesperson said.

"We are in the process of gathering information surrounding the matter involving Kevin Porter Jr.," the Rockets said in a statement. "We have no further comment at this time."

The NBA also acknowledged Porter's arrest, saying in a statement through spokesman Mike Bass: "The league office is in contact with the Houston Rockets and in the process of gathering more information."

While the NBA is conducting its own investigation, the Rockets aren't allowed to administer any immediate punishment on Porter, including a suspension.

Under the terms of the league's domestic violence policy, commissioner Adam Silver has the power to place Porter on administrative leave with pay for "a reasonable period of time." Based on the findings of the case, the commissioner can fine, suspend, dismiss or disqualify from any further association with the league and its teams a player who violates the domestic violence policy.

Porter signed a four-year contract extension worth as much as $82.5 million last season. However, it is only partially guaranteed due to Porter's history of off-court issues. If the Rockers were to eventually waive Porter based on the results of this investigation or a criminal conviction, the franchise would be responsible for only the $16.9 million of guaranteed money left on his contract.

Porter was the No. 30 pick in the 2019 draft after spending one season at USC, where he was suspended because of conduct issues. He played his rookie season for the Cleveland Cavaliers but did not join the team the next season due to personal reasons. He was traded to the Rockets for a top-55-protected second-round pick in January 2021 in the wake of a shouting match with Cleveland team officials.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks contributed to this report.

 The San Antonio Spurs are waiving veteran guard Cameron Payne, clearing the way for him to join a contending team that can offer him a larger role, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Should Payne clears waivers this week, he'll have a significant market of contending teams looking to add him -- especially after his productive postseason performance for the Phoenix Suns in the 2023 Western Conference playoffs.

The Spurs acquired Payne along with a 2025 second-round draft pick and $5.6 million in a July trade with the Suns. The Spurs have several young guards they're planning to build around on the roster, and Payne will ultimately make more sense for a contending team's roster.

Payne, 29, had a terrific run as a backup point guard to Chris Paul in Phoenix over the past three years. He had a 31-point performance in Game 6 of the 2023 Western Conference semifinals against the Denver Nuggets, and he started the final four games of the postseason for Phoenix. In a crucial two-game stretch in the Suns' 2021 NBA Finals run, Payne started for an injured Paul and responded with an average of 20 points and nine assists, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Payne averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 assists in 48 games for the Suns last season. He's had stops with Oklahoma City, Chicago and Cleveland since the Thunder selected him with the 14th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

The NBA is expected to pass more stringent rules and punishments to limit the resting of star players for nationally televised and in-season tournament games and instances of multiple All-Stars sitting out individual regular-season games, sources told ESPN on Monday.

The NBA's competition committee recommended a plan that the league's board of governors is expected to approve Wednesday. It would ultimately give the league office authority for greater oversight over discipline for missed games and an ability to fine teams over $1 million for each instance of violating resting rules, sources said.

As the league negotiates a new media rights deal, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been determined to increase player participation, and the league's goal is to strengthen the initial player resting policies that were adopted in the 2017-18 season and new rules that mandate players participate in 65 regular-season games to be eligible for postseason awards.

The NBA is defining a star player as someone who's made the All-Star or All-NBA teams in any of the three previous seasons, sources said.

The NBA will incorporate a fine system for teams that begins with $100,000 for first offenses, $250,000 for second offenses and $1 million more than the previous penalty for each additional fine, sources said.

A league memo obtained by ESPN about the changes describes these areas of the new policy. Enforcement of these policies will be based on league office investigations, which will include independent medical reviews, sources said.

  • Teams must manage their roster to ensure that no more than one star player is unavailable for the same game.
  • Teams must ensure that star players are available for national television and in-season tournament games.
  • Teams must maintain a balance between the number of one-game absences for a star player in home games and road games -- with a preference for those absences to happen in home games.
  • Teams must refrain from any long-term shutdown -- or near shutdown -- when a star player stops participating in games or plays in a materially reduced role in circumstances affecting the integrity of the game.
  • Teams must ensure that healthy players resting for a game are present and visible to fans.

The NBA will provide several scenarios for excused absences on missed games -- including those involving regular-season back-to-back scenarios, sources said. For example, the NBA will allow pre-approved designated back-to-back allowances for players who are 35 years old on opening night or have career workloads of 34,000 regular-season minutes or 1,000 regular-season/playoff games combined, sources said.

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