Otto Porter Jr. will forever be remembered for being an integral piece to the Golden State Warriors’ 2022 championship team, with the veteran forward having started the final three games of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
Unfortunately for Porter, the last 12 months haven’t quite gone according to plan. He secured more money by signing a two-year, $12.3 million deal with the Toronto Raptors in free agency, but was limited to just eight games before having to undergo season-ending foot surgery.
Former Golden State Warriors’ forward Otto Porter Jr. could be a surprise departure from the Toronto Raptors despite holding a $6.3 million deal for next season.
Knowing he wasn’t going to garner more attractive offers this offseason, Porter unsurprisingly opted into his player option for 2023-24. That doesn’t mean his future in Toronto is secure though, at least according to HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan.
The Raptors currently have 16 contracted players on their roster, meaning one player will have to be released before tip-off next season. Gozlan believes while unlikely, Porter could be a candidate for General Manager Masai Ujiri.
"“As of now, Jeff Dowtin Jr. seems like the odd man out since he’s the only player with a non-guaranteed contract. Otto Porter Jr. and Malachi Flynn could also be in consideration if Dowtin Jr. impresses during the preseason”, Gozlan wrote."
Toronto could theoretically waive Porter and take the full cap hit of his $6.3 million deal, or reach a buyout agreement with the 30-year-old forward. Either way, the 2013 number three overall pick would become a free agent and be able to sign with an opposing team.
Would Golden State be interested if that circumstance were to eventuate? Possibly. However, there’s also a resignation that the Warriors may have got the last healthy year of Porter’s career. The fact someone like him may be available gives an indication of why the Warriors are yet to commit to a 14th player on their own roster.
Five more teams are in the same position as the Raptors — needing to move on at least one player before the season commences. Golden State are one of seven teams needing to add another player, and they’ll undoubtedly be waiting to see which further options may become available.