The Golden State Warriors were at the center of several high profile trade rumors leading up to the NBA draft.
But after draft night ended absent any blockbuster moves in the Bay Area, the team kicked off free agency with what feels like a modest, but potentially meaningful, signing of a two-way contributor.
The first day of free agency, Monday, August 2, was not absent a bevy of big name signings. Former Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry joined the Miami Heat on a three-year deal, while Chris Paul wrote what appears to be the final chapter of his career by resigning with the Phoenix Suns for four more seasons. The Warriors, on the other hand, didn’t make a huge splash. But they weren’t idle either, locking down Otto Porter Jr. to a minimum contract to add to their perimeter depth.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports broke the news of the signing Monday night.
“Free agent forward Otto Porter Jr. has reached an agreement with the Golden State Warriors, league sources tell @YahooSports,” Haynes tweeted.
Porter Adds Depth & Potentially Value to Golden State Perimeter
It is difficult to put a finger on precisely who Porter is at this point in his career, as well as who he can potentially be alongside some of the most dynamic backcourt players in recent NBA history in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
At the peak of his powers, Porter was a solid scorer able to defend multiple positions on the floor. The eight-year veteran has a career scoring average of 10.9 points per game but has also poured in points at a significantly higher rate during recent stops in his NBA tenure. He’s also reliable on the glass, pulling down five rebounds per game.
Porter is not the perimeter addition Warriors fans might have hoped for at earlier, more optimistic points during this offseason, with rumors of Ben Simmons or Bradley Beal being potentially available. However, Porter should add depth to a roster that lacked that quality last season, relying on young talent to carry its bench minutes.
The Warriors were also able to sign Porter at value, locking him down on a minimum contract, according to NBC Sports’ Monte Poole. Haynes reported that Porter could have signed for a mid-level exception with several other teams but chose Golden State’s culture and promise above a paycheck.
That is a positive sign for both the value he provides over the price the Warriors spent to procure his services, as well as in the winning attitude and desire Porter brings to a team with hopes of returning to postseason glory in the 2021-22 season.
Situation Is Everything With a Signing Like Porter Jr.
Throughout his entire career, Porter has never played with a winning franchise.
He spent several years languishing with the Washington Wizards before bouncing around with the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic.
Golden State has been home to several career revivals, as basketball has simply proved easier to play alongside first-ballot Hall of Famers than in hapless situations with little chance of even reaching the playoffs.
Porter may be a significant signing, or he may prove just a footnote, but the wing has shown promise during a long career in the NBA. The Warriors might just prove the situation Porter needs to recognize his full potential.