Former Celtics’ Trade Target Might Receive Buyout: Report

Otto Porter Jr.

Getty Otto Porter Jr.

The Boston Celtics may have another option coming from the buyout market. After the Toronto Raptors traded him to the Utah Jazz, Otto Porter Jr. may very well be the next hot item to hit the free agent market.

The Athletic’s Tony Jones reported that the Jazz have sent Porter away from the team so he can ponder what he wants to do next.

“Utah Jazz forward Otto Porter Jr. has returned home to evaluate his options for the remainder of the season and will not be with the team Thursday night when the Jazz open the second half of their schedule against the Charlotte Hornets,” Jones reported in a February 21 story.

Jones added that one of those options for Porter is a potential buyout. However, it did not sound like a sure thing yet.

“The 30-year-old Porter…is fully healthy and ready to play, according to league sources. His options include accepting a contract buyout from the Jazz, which would allow him to sign with another team. Porter would have to sign with another team by March 1 to be eligible to play in the postseason.”

Porter helped the Golden State Warriors win a title in 2022 as a floor-stretching big man. Since then, he has been badly affected by the injury bug. He played in 23 games for the Raptors from 2022 to 2024 in total. At the same time, he’s only 30 years old.

Otto Porter Jr. Was One of Boston’s Trade Targets

Before the NBA Trade Deadline passed, Jake Fischer reported that the Celtics had targeted Otto Porter Jr.

“Elsewhere atop the Eastern Conference, Boston has been weighing various options who could deepen the Celtics’ bench, according to league sources. Boston will likely be limited to adding pieces through its $6.25 million traded-player exception with which the Celtics could bring on a veteran target such as Otto Porter Jr., sources said,” Fischer wrote in a February 6 story.

At the time, Porter and his $6.3 million contract could have fit into the Williams trade exception. Teams can acquire players worth up to $100,000 more than the trade exception they utilize. In the end, the Celtics did not acquire Porter but absorbed Jaden Springer into the $6.25 million trade exception.

If the Celtics had strong interest in acquiring Porter via trade, they probably would have even more interest in adding him should he become a free agent. Especially since he’ll be cheaper that way.

Celtics Criticized for Not Acquiring Wing Depth

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley explained why he believes the Celtics made a mistake not parting with a first-round draft pick for wing depth.

“Increasing their championship chances by finding a wing with more defense than Sam Hauser and more offense than Oshae Brissett should’ve meant more to this win-now club than holding onto a first-round pick,” Buckley wrote in a February 21 story.

Otto Porter Jr. played the wing more in the earlier days of his NBA career. However, over the years, he has transitioned into more of a stretch-five. On paper, though, he is the kind of player who fits Buckley’s description above.

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