The Toronto Raptors are trying everything (except an obvious starting lineup change) to avoid falling out of the play-in race, including playing Otto Porter Jr. in the rotation more often. On a team with so few shooters, Porter's presence went from a nice added boost to an absolute necessity.
Just a few days ago, head coach Darko Rajakovic announced that Porter will remain in the Raptors rotation for the immediate future, barring any injuries. As fate would have it, immediately after Rajakovic uttered those words, the always-fragile Porter once again ended up getting bitten by the injury bug.
Porter left Toronto's embarrassing loss against the Charlotte Hornets with a foot contusion, reaggravating the same foot injury that sidelined him for most of his first season with the Raptors. X-rays came back negative, and Rajakovic did say that Porter was feeling "well" after the loss.
Knowing his injury history, and the great care the team has shown to make sure that Porter can avoid bumps and bruises in the past, there is a good chance that Toronto takes it extremely slowly with Porter. He might not suit up for the next few games as they try to avoid making things worse.
Otto Porter Jr. injury update: Toronto Raptors PF suffers left foot contusion.
Porter has played in just 19 games with the Raptors in the last two seasons, as foot ailments have largely sidelined the former Golden State Warriors champion. While he is shooting 36% from 3-point range on a team that has lacked shooting in the last few years, his health has made it tough for him to evolve into a reliable presence.
Porter has been operating as a small ball big man when he's been on the floor in the last few games, as he could help the Raptors' pitiful spacing. In the final year of his two-year contract, Porter hasn't provided what Toronto thought he would.
If Porter is unable to go, look for the declining Jalen McDaniels to likely get some extra run in the rotation. While he has been a poor shooter this season, the fact he was able to be at least competent in this area in Charlotte and Philadelphia will likely give him the edge.
The whole Porter experiment has been an exercise in frustration for the Raptors, as they have been unable to really get out of neutral. This latest setback, due to Porter's history, could end up preceding a longer spell of inactivity, depriving Toronto of another shooter.