Veteran Raptors forward viewed as possible preseason cut candidate

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Otto Porter Jr. #32 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Otto Porter Jr. #32 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Over the last few seasons, the Toronto Raptors have usually signed multiple players to non-guaranteed contracts before the preseason. This was done to see them battle for one of multiple available roster spots and roles on the back end of the bench. Names like Yuta Watanabe benefitted from this directive.

This year, the only player with a non-guaranteed NBA contract on the Raptors’ preseason roster is Jeff Dowtin. While some might view Dowtin as a camp body for these reasons, the Raptors have seemingly left the door open for a veteran to be cut loose in favor of the exciting young point guard.

Given his injury history and the likelihood that he will begin the season outside of the Raptors’ rotation, Otto Porter Jr. seems like a player who faces long odds to stick around long-term in Toronto. A poor preseason might be all it takes for Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster to pull the plug.

Per Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype, Porter and Malachi Flynn could be viewed as potential casualties if the Raptors are impressed by Dowtin. While Flynn would make sense as a cut due to Toronto’s growing collection of backup point guards, Toronto could keep the younger player over the aging veteran.

Will the Toronto Raptors release Otto Porter Jr?

Porter played in just eight games with the Raptors last season, as the injury issues that have hurt him during his career have once again made it very difficult for him to pick up any sort of positive momentum. The player Toronto thought they were getting might not return.

When we last saw a fully healthy Porter, he played a significant role in the Golden State Warriors’ surprise run to a championship. As a somewhat frequent starter, Porter’s 3-point shooting and versatile defense made him look like the type of player Ujiri thought would complete his rotation.

Unless Rajakovic expands the rotation to include 11 players, it will be very difficult for Porter to get on the court. Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa aren’t going anywhere, and the younger Jalen McDaniels would make much more sense as a backup small forward.

The Raptors seemed to be one of the big winners of free agency when they brought Porter north of the border, but his inability to stay on the court has eroded whatever standing he had on this team and put him firmly on the roster bubble.

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