May 25, 2024


Exercise makes you strong

As the Durant watch continues, Porter Jr. brings key skills to Raptors

It wasn’t the introductory press convention that Toronto Raptors enthusiasts could have been hoping for — no offence to OPJ, he’s not KD.

But Otto Porter Jr. is in a Raptors uniform for actual and for now, when the prospect of Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant staying delivered right here is a want, and maybe one that Toronto desires to be careful about.

In the meantime, the environment retains turning and in a somewhat unpredicted collision of situations, it has brought the highly regarded veteran — new off a title with the Golden Point out Warriors — to the Raptors.

And somewhat than Porter Jr. needing to be coaxed and educated about enjoying in Toronto, the 9-12 months veteran was all in from the bounce.

“I had some other delivers, but this was undoubtedly a spot that I needed to go to,” Porter Jr. mentioned. “You know, my wife is from listed here, it really is just a lot less difficult for the household. It is a wonderful business, great group, youthful staff that has aspirations to get back again to the best. And with successful the championship with Golden State, I come to feel like I can deliver that encounter below to assist the youthful men out with executing that once again. “… [But] I have been in this article basically in the summer season time so I know a whole lot about the city, I know about the folks and the winters — I know a great deal.”

The Raptors know a good bit about him, also. He’s a player the Raptors have been checking ever because they went from him in playoff collection in 2015 and 2018 when Porter was with the Washington Wizards. The Wizards had drafted him No. 3 over-all in 2013 and rewarded him with a $105-million extension on his rookie deal — the greatest allowable at the time — as he proven himself as an elite 3-issue shooter who could keep his possess defensively against some of the NBA’s most effective wing scorers.

But it’s a further link that performed a aspect in Porter Jr. signing with the Raptors on a two-year, $12.4 million deal.

Prior to his time with Golden State, accidents experienced limited the 6-foot-eight forward to just 42 online games above the previous two seasons as he struggled with hip tightness, back difficulties and foot problems at instances. With the Warriors, he performed 63 common-period online games and a different 19 in the playoffs, establishing himself as a critical reserve and piece in some of the Warriors’ most helpful lineups.

The Warriors restricted his minutes he averaged just 22.2 minutes a activity and was frequently rested for a single fifty percent of again-to-backs. His wellbeing was managed by Rick Celebrini, the Warriors director of sporting activities drugs and efficiency, a Canadian who qualified less than the Raptors’ vice-president of player wellness and performance, Alex McKechnie.

“That’s their mentor,” stated Porter Jr. “I’ve listened to a lot about Alex and I’m hunting ahead to functioning with him.”

The perform he did do with the Warriors assisted revive his job, and Porter Jr. is hopeful that his results last yr will continue on and let him to supply bench production and lineup versatility with the Raptors.

“[Last season] just showed that I can get back to that amount, I can engage in at a substantial stage. You just see all the challenging function paid out off in the off-period, getting your overall body prepared,” reported Porter Jr. “…It’s a lengthy time, specifically when you get to the playoffs and it is about who’s the healthiest at the conclusion of the 12 months.”

Porter Jr. is self-assured the Raptors — as now configured — can be a post-period aspect. The addition of his capability to distribute the ground — he’s a job 40 per cent three-place shooter — and his match with head mentor Nick Nurse’s switching techniques on defence must be a in addition for a young workforce that received 48 games past year and is gunning for more.

“I’ve been in the league for so prolonged and heading to a group that has vets and a mixture of younger fellas, I’ve seen what it took to put it all alongside one another,” he reported. “I feel that I uncovered a large amount from becoming in Golden State that I can bring to this workforce, primarily with the young men.

“You’ve bought some younger fellas that grew up below and won a championship so just to convey some a lot more veterans, leadership attributes to the team to continue on to piece it alongside one another and continue to rather substantially work alongside one another and consider to get to that stage again.”