Key Warriors Free Agent Reveals His Desire to Return Next Season

Otto Porter Jr.

Getty Otto Porter Jr. reacts to a play in a Golden State Warriors game.

As the high of a fourth NBA title in the last eight seasons begins to subside, the Golden State Warriors will face some sobering decisions this offseason about how to allocate their very limited money across a number of key free agents.

That list includes the team’s do-it-all big man, Otto Porter Jr., who has expressed a desire to stay with Golden State but could command a salary beyond what’s available for a team already deep in the luxury tax. Days after the team defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 6 to close out the NBA Finals, Porter opened up about his plans for free agency.

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Porter Hopes to Return

In an end-of-season interview, Porter said he wants to return to Golden State to defend the title he helped the team earn.

“I do know that this team can compete again for another championship and it would be a great opportunity if I could stay here,” Porter said. “It would be amazing to be here with that group of guys again and do it all over again.”

Porter played a big role in bringing home the title for the Warriors, moving up in the rotation to take Kevon Looney’s spot in the starting lineup for the final three games of the NBA Finals. For the season he averaged 8.2 points per game, hitting 37% of his 3-pointers while grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game.

Bringing him back for another season could present a challenge, however. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s C.J. Holmes noted, the Warriors got a steal in signing Porter last August and may only be able to bring him back if Porter is willing to take a significant discount.

“Unrestricted free agent Otto Porter Jr. played on a veteran minimum contract last season and outplayed its value by a mile,” Holmes wrote. “Because of his non-Bird rights, and Golden State’s ridiculous tax bill, the starting salary it can offer Porter this offseason is extremely limited.”

Other Tough Decisions

The Warriors will have a lot of decisions to make beyond Porter. After snagging the 15th roster spot last season, defensive stopper Gary Payton II is headed to unrestricted free agency and likely the contract of a lifetime. Payton spent the last six seasons on the edge of the NBA, bouncing around and spending long stretches in the G League, but played a significant role in the Warriors’ rotation this season.

As Holmes reported, Payton told reporters that he is looking to sign a multi-year deal, an opportunity that likely seemed out of reach before this season.

“I get to choose this time I think, so it’s going to be interesting,” he said. “Looking forward to it.”

Like Porter, other free agents have expressed a desire to return to the team that is booked as an early favorite to win the 2023 NBA title. Kevon Looney, who played in every regular season and playoff game this season, said he too wants to return.

“I always want to be back here,” Looney said. “I want to come back and try to defend what we just won and be a part of something special again.”

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Mário João D. Costa Marcelino
Mário João D. Costa Marcelino
15 days ago

Otto Porter Jr is important to this team if we want a strong and mature 2nd line

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