NBA free agency: Kevin Porter Jr. reportedly returning to NBA with Clippers months after domestic assault plea deal

Kevin Porter Jr. is back in the NBA after reaching a plea deal in a domestic assault case. (Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

Kevin Porter Jr. is reportedly returning to the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers after a season away, months after reaching a plea deal in a domestic assault case.

Per The Athletic's Shams Charania, Porter has agreed to a two-year contract with the Clippers at the Sunday start of NBA free agency negotiations. A first-round pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2019 draft, Porter played two seasons with the Houston Rockets after his rookie campaign in Cleveland.

Porter Jr., 24, was arrested on felony domestic assault charges last summer for an alleged incident involving his girlfriend. The Rockets then traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who immediately waived him. Once a promising member of Houston's young core, Porter did not play in the NBA last season.

Porter pleaded guilty in January to misdemeanor assault and harassment in a deal that keeps him out of jail if he meets the terms of the agreement. Prosecutors had accused Porter of leaving his girlfriend bloodied with a deep cut on her face. Police said Porter repeatedly punched her in the face while the couple stayed at the Millennium Hotel in New York.

Per police, she had locked him out of their room after he returned late, and Porter assaulted her once he gained access to the room. Police said Porter also hit her repeatedly on her body and placed his hands around her neck.

Porter's girlfriend later denied the assault took place and called the police account "a lie." She told TMZ that her injuries were the result of her hitting her head when she was startled awake from Porter's late arrival to the hotel room.

“He didn’t hit me. He never balled his fists up and hit me,” former WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick told the New York Post. “And he definitely didn’t punch me in the face numerous times. That is a lie. I don’t have any injuries to support that.”

Per the agreement, Porter is required to complete a 26-week Abusive Partner Intervention Program or an equivalent program with a private counselor. He's required to attend all court dates and avoid further arrests.

A 6-foot-4 guard, Porter averaged 19.2 points, 5.7 assists, four rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting 44.2% from the floor and 36.6% from 3 in 2022-23, his final season with the Rockets. He played in Greece in the spring after his plea deal. He joins a Clippers team that re-signed James Harden in free agency and awaits the decision of All-Star free agent Paul George.