Nearly a week after former Golden State Warriors forward Otto Porter Jr. agreed to a deal with the Toronto Raptors, he opened up about his time in San Francisco.
“It was tough, obviously, winning a championship there,” Porter said on July 6 during his introductory press conference as a Raptor. “I think a lot of guys were expecting everybody to be back to run it again. It was a tough decision. But I’m locked in with those guys for life. We had an unbelievable year.”
Re-signing Porter had been a priority for the Warriors, who wanted to keep him in the Dubs’ rotation, where he played a key role for two years. But Golden State’s luxury tax meant that keeping Porter and others would be difficult.
Now, Golden State fans will have to move on quickly with the departure of so many players from last season. More than five players from the title-winning team will be sporting new jerseys next season, including Stephen Curry’s brother-in-law Damian Lee, who signed a new deal with the division rivals Phoenix Suns after spending over three seasons with the Dubs.
Porter Comments on Decision to Bolt the Warriors
Porter’s two-year, $12.3 million deal includes a player option in 2023-24, so he will have the opportunity to bet on himself this upcoming season. He will be able to opt out after one year and test free agency again for a shot at a larger multi-year deal.
The decision to sign elsewhere came down to money, but Porter, who was the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, said there were other considerations, as well, not the least of which is his significant family and her family.
“I had some offers, other offers, but this is definitely a place I wanted to go to,” he said. “You know, my wife is from here. It’s just easier for the family. Great organization. Great team. Young team that has aspiration to get back to the title.”
In 22.2 minutes for the Dubs this past season, Porter put up 8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and shot the three at a 37% clip. As the Warriors went deeper into the playoffs, Porter became more of an integral part of the rotation, with Kerr relying on him to provide consistent minutes during adjustments.
Warriors Had an Offer to Re-Sign Porter
With so many players leaving the Warriors, it may appear as if the front office let them leave, and that they did not make much of an effort to retain key role players like Porter.
That may be further from the truth, as The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported that the Warriors did offer a veteran minimum offer for Porter, but Porter chased the more lucrative offer out there. The Raptors offered Porter about four more million dollars than the Warriors did.
His loss will be sorely missed, as Porter was exactly the player that coach Steve Kerr and the team desperately needed to complement Steph Curry and the other shooters on the team. His departure will mean more minutes and pressure on second-year player Moses Moody to come in and defend along with hitting the occasional open three.