Historically, the Toronto Raptors are not a team that is going to spend a ton of money in free agency. In spite of their past desire to lay low in the offseason, the Raptors went and splashed the cash and nabbed Otto Porter Jr. away from the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.
Porter was a somewhat frequent starter on a Golden State team that won their fourth championship in seven seasons. While many think of him as the oft-injured No. 3 overall pick that never managed to stick with the Wizards, the Georgetown alum has reinvented himself.
Porter is the type of player that was born to play in a Masai Ujiri/Nick Nurse system. Two of the traits that are the hallmarks of his playing style are excellent spot-up shooting and positional versatility, which form the bedrock of how Nurse wants to play basketball.
Toronto signed Porter with the expectation that he could come right in and make an immediate impact on one of the worst benches in the league. If Porter’s excellent 3-point shot translates over to the Raptors, they should feel completely confident in their ability to get enough production from their second unit.
Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: Will Otto Porter Jr. stand out?
Stats: 8.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 46% FG, 37% 3PT
Porter may get unfairly deemed a complete bust after he didn’t become an All-Star in Washington, but he did average 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game on 49/41/8- shooting splits between the 2015-16 and 2019-20 seasons. There’s a fantastic player locked up in there.
Porter didn’t get a high volume of shots last year, as his main role with Golden State was to help space the floor and primary quality defense. He did that to such an exemplary degree that he ended up becoming a starter in the Finals. Not bad for someone who was reportedly on his last legs in the NBA.
Porter is a career 40% 3-point shooter, making him an immediate upgrade in one of Toronto’s worst areas last year. A seamless scheme fit, Porter was able to be a consistent presence on offense despite a low volume thanks to tough shot-making and passing ability that belies his poor assist numbers.
Porter has suffered from durability issues for his entire career, as he has missed at least 19 games per year every season since 2017. His 3-point percentage was a solid 37% last season, but that was his worst mark in several years. Another decline in Toronto could suck some of the enjoyment out of this signing.
There’s no reason to think that Porter can’t average double digits in points per game. With all of the wide-open 3-pointers he will likely receive thanks to Toronto’s offensive talent, Porter can let his talents really shine.
On the defensive end, Porter can still be a pest who can vacillate between perimeter and post play with ease. If he keeps up the good work here and clicks it into third gear offensively alongside names like Thad Young off the bench, Toronto will see positive results in the win column.