Warriors Were Targeting Former Player Before Season-Ending Injury: Sources

Gary Payton II, Stephen Curry, and Otto Porter Jr., then of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Gary Payton II, Stephen Curry, and Otto Porter Jr., then of the Golden State Warriors.

Up to this point, it’s safe to say that the Golden State Warriors have lived up to the lofty standards they’ve established for themselves. They took home their fourth NBA Championship in eight years last season, but so far this year, they’re struggling to maintain their place in the Play-In Tournament race.

While injuries have absolutely played a part in their struggles this year, the team was having a rough time before Stephen Curry’s shoulder issue. If they hope to propel themselves back into the realm of title contention, making a move on the trade market will be a top priority, and according to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, they were targeting Otto Porter Jr. before his season-ending injury.

“There’s still some feeling that they should not have let Gary Payton go to [the] Portland Trail Blazers, but you could understand that financially, that was going to be too much,” a Western Conference executive told Deveney. “Really, the guy they miss is Otto Porter. He was excellent for them off the bench, playing a bunch of different positions, passing, making that offense run smoothly. There was some talk that the Warriors would try to get him back from the Raptors if he had not had the foot injury.”

Last year, Porter was an integral part of Golden State’s rotation. He played a big part in their run to the NBA Finals last season, but the team let him walk in free agency last offseason, and he joined the Toronto Raptors.

He appeared in 63 regular-season games with the Warriors last season, playing 22.2 minutes per contest. In those games, he averaged 8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game on 46.4% shooting from the floor and 37.0% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Otto Porter Will Undergo Season-Ending Surgery

It was recently announced that Porter would undergo surgery on his left foot, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. Raptors GM Bobby Webster noted that Porter did not want to have surgery but made the tough decision in order to ensure his long-term health.

“This was a tough decision for Otto, he had hoped to avoid surgery, but ultimately a decision had to be made to ensure his long-term health,” said Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster via The Associated Press. “We look forward to his healthy recovery.”

Unfortunately, that surgery also means the Warriors won’t be able to target him in a trade at the deadline.

Warriors Want to Add Shooting & Size

Porter would have been the perfect addition for the Warriors. Not only is he familiar with the organization, but he also fits the bill of what they’re looking to add to a tee. According to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Warriors are hoping to add shooting and size at the trade deadline this year.

“With the NBA trade deadline precisely 30 days away, the Warriors are active in the market, according to league sources,” Poole wrote. “Though nothing is said to be imminent – the front office is more concerned with getting Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins back to speed – there is a desire to add size and shooting.”

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