B/R grades Raptors’ Otto Porter Jr. signing as a top-five move

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 20: Otto Porter Jr. #32 of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 20: Otto Porter Jr. #32 of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are often content just to sit put the early free agent frenzy and allow some of their significant flaws to be fixed by internal development. They didn’t necessarily hold themselves to that philosophical stance this year, as they were out in front of the rest of the competition in the race to lure Otto Porter Jr. away.

Porter went from an oft-injured No. 3 overall lottery pick who padded his stats on bad teams to a key role player on a Golden State Warriors team that is fresh off a championship. Porter was looking to cash in after his strong season, and Toronto obliged.

The Raptors signed Porter to a two-year contract by using a good chunk of their mid-level exception. Considering how Porter fits in well with their style of play, it’s not crazy to assume that he is one of the best free agent signings of the cycle. Bleacher Report certainly seems to think so.

B/R ranked Porter as the fifth-best free agent signing of the 2022 class, citing the relative flexibility that he gave Toronto from a financial point of view and his fit in the Raptors’ unique system on both ends. Toronto was widely praised for bringing someone with Porter’s reputation to town.

Otto Porter Jr. will help the Toronto Raptors.

Porter’s 8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game might not sound like earth-shattering production, but it was so valuable to Golden State that he earned some critical starts in the postseason. Toronto has their top scorers locked in place, but they could use more shooting and perimeter defense.

A career 39% 3-point shooter, Porter will be some instant juice off the bench. With a 6-7 frame and a wingspan exceeding seven feet, Porter is straight out of the Masai Ujiri playbook regarding bench wings. Gone are the days of playing the returning Chris Boucher at small forward!

Porter needs to do exactly what he did in Golden State to make this contract successful. Even if players like Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam aren’t chucking it up from deep, Toronto’s shooting will be much more robust and efficient if Porter adds his unique style of play to the mix.

Porter could have easily asked for (and received) a hefty multi-year contract from a team with more money to throw around, but he chose to come to Toronto on a team-friendly deal. Ujiri deserved a tip of the cap for reeling in such a quality player.

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