The Toronto Raptors wouldn’t let free agency go too far before they retained some of their biggest names, choosing to bring back Thad Young and Chris Boucher. Undeterred by the relative lack of open roster spots, Masai Ujiri made it a priority to convince Otto Porter Jr. to make the trip up north.
Porter, who reestablished himself with the champion Golden State Warriors after a rocky post-Wizards tenure, signed a two-year deal with the Raptors early Friday. Still a quality defender and expert 3-point shooter, Porter will give Toronto a significant boost in two areas they sorely need it.
Porter will likely be expected to slide right into the rotation and make his presence felt as a floor-spacer who comes in and makes plays on both ends. Adding a player who was starting in the NBA Finals just a few months ago is an incredible coup for Ujiri and the Raptors.
While most Raptors fans had to be jumping for joy after Porter was acquired, Svi Mykhailiuk and Justin Champagnie might not react to this with open arms. Both of them are likely to find it more challenging to secure playing time after Porter decided to come to Canada.
Raptors: Svi Mykhailiuk may lose playing time to Otto Porter Jr.
In the case of Mykhailiuk, whatever avenue he could have potentially used to sneak back into the rotation has been emphatically slammed shut. When you’re on the team because of your ability to shoot 3-pointers, yet underperform in that area, it’s hard to wiggle back into the lineup.
With 12 guaranteed roster spots, the odds of signing Champagnie to a proper NBA deal have shrunken. Christian Koloko will be the 13th spot, and both Armoni Brooks and Dalano Banton have partial guarantees that will trigger next year. If both are wanted back, Champagnie could be on the outside looking in.
The best way to satisfy both parties is a two-for-one trade that gets Mykhailiuk somewhere where he could get extra minutes and frees up a spot for Champagnie to get an NBA contract. Ujiri probably wants to pull that move off somehow, so Toronto’s wheeling and dealing may not be done just yet.
Ujiri is likely going to make one more move before calling time on the offseason and preparing for the following regular season. Doing so would allow Porter to come right into the rotation while Toronto tinkers with the back end.