The Toronto Raptors have won a championship have been one of the most consistently successful teams in the league over the last few years, yet they regularly go into the upcoming season as one of the most underrated teams in the league. Additions like Otto Porter Jr. and the re-signing of Thad Young must not be splashy enough.
The Raptors won 48 games last year, retained nearly everybody from their roster last year, and are hoping that Scottie Barnes will take that leap to stardom many expect. Even with all of those factors going for them, Toronto’s status as a plucky underdog remains.
On a team full of players that never get their proper credit from the larger media landscape, Porter might be among the most underrated despite the fact he contributed to a championship with the Golden State Warriors last year. His cheap deal and pedestrian averages last year mask what an impact he could have in Toronto.
Porter is not going to start, but that doesn’t make his signing any less impactful. Not only is he going to fill two of the biggest holes on this Raptors roster at the moment, but he’s going to do so while proving to the rest of the NBA that his ability has not diminished.
Otto Porter Jr. is the most underrated Toronto Raptors player.
Between the 2015-16 and 2018-19 seasons, Porter averaged 13.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game on sparkling 49/41/80 shooting percentages. When healthy, Porter is every bit a viable starter in this league. Getting him for cheap is quite the steal.
Porter averaged 8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game with the Warriors last year, though his true impact can’t be told by looking at his raw box score numbers. As a semi-frequent starter, Porter showed that his pesky defense and still quality 3-point shooting could help a No. 3 seed like Golden State get over the hump.
Toronto will use him in a way that could help show off how he has been perpetually passed over. Porter should easily challenge for double digits in points per game this season, making him the team’s top bench performer.
The Raptors didn’t sign Porter to just take up space on the bench. He’s spent his entire career getting derided for his draft slot and the fact he never blossomed into an All-Star. That mockery overshadowed the fact that he’s become a damn fine player who could another career year in Toronto.