The Toronto Raptors didn’t add many outsiders in free agency this offseason, but they used most of their available cap space to bring home a proven winner in Otto Porter Jr. The veteran forward joined Toronto one year after winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors.
Porter was signed with the expectation that he could come right in and add more shooting and scoring to a much-maligned bench unit. Signing a player who was an occasional spot-starter for a Warriors team that won a championship only adds more experience to a team that is still reasonably young.
The former Georgetown star really came alive last year, showing that he can provide the shooting pop Golden State needed while keeping some of the younger players on track. In his first comments as a Raptor at training camp, Porter thinks that this year’s Raptors team has similar vibes.
Porter said that many of the young guys on the team are already picking his and Thad Young’s brains about what it means to compete at the highest level and sustain that success. Porter was quoted as saying that “working every day [and] being a true professional” will be essential for the Raptors as they push towards the postseason.
Porter added that there are similarities between how the Warriors and Raptors go about winning, particularly on defense.
Otto Porter Jr. likes this Toronto Raptors team.
Porter averaged 8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game last season, though his numbers were limited by an average volume of shots. Since 2017, Porter has averaged 12.4 points per game and made 41% of his 3-point attempts on the season. That’s undervalued production that many teams disregarded for years.
Porter was not just a bystander on that Warriors team, as he earned some big starts in postseason games. In an Eastern Conference that loaded up with tons of huge playmakers in the offseason, adding someone like Porter could be a very important differentiating factor when the benches start to come into play.
The Raptors still have a handful of 2019 holdovers, including stars like Fred VanVleet and All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam. With key young players like Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, and Gary Trent Jr. all under 24 years old, surrounding them with winners will instill the proper habits in them.
The bench needed someone who could be the glue that keeps them rolling offensively, and the 1-2 punch of Porter and the re-signed Young should do a fine job of that. He may not make Toronto a contender by himself, but he will give them some extra veteran stability when needed in the postseason.