If you’re a general NBA fan and don’t closely follow Otto Porter Jr., you would be excused for forgetting about the former number three overall pick. But after playing such a pivotal role for the Golden State Warriors in their 2022 NBA championship, the 30-year-old will always hold a special place in the hearts of those in the Bay.
From a league-wide perspective, Porter was last in the headlines when another former Warrior, Stephen Jackson, criticised him for a lack of production since securing a $100+ million contract in Washington.
Warrior fans know all about Porter’s value though, making his strong return for the Toronto Raptors all the more heartening. After departing Golden State in the 2022 offseason, the 11-year veteran was limited to just eight games in 2022-23.
Former Golden State Warriors forward Otto Porter Jr. has made a strong return to the Toronto Raptors over recent games.
Porter again played a significant role in the Raptors comeback victory over Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. After trailing by 15 heading to the fourth-quarter, the Raptors got an overtime win thanks to Scottie Barnes’ 30 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Porter had six points, four rebounds and a block in just over 19 minutes — hardly spectacular, but it solid and important nonetheless. He was a +9 in the ball game and just like his time with the Warriors, he was able to stick a three and grab an important rebound whenever they presented.
Porter’s second-up performance followed a strong return against the Milwaukee Bucks last Wednesday. In an upset win over Giannis Antetekounmpo, Damian Lillard and the visiting Bucks, Porter had six points, three rebounds, an assist and a block in just under 16 minutes. He was also a +11 in the game as Toronto poured in 130 points against a meek Milwaukee defense.
Porter’s shooting 50% from deep to start his season — sure it’s a small sample size, but it won’t come as any surprise to Warrior fans. The 6’8″ forward’s shooting ability was imperative in his one season with Golden State, often leading to him closing games or starting as was the case in the final three games of the NBA Finals.
Fingers crossed Porter can stay healthy and return to being one of the most underrated bench players in the league. Who knows, depending on how the Raptor and Warrior seasons play out, we may even see him back in the Blue and Gold for a second time.