Otto Porter Jr. Says it 'Would Be Amazing' to Stay With Warriors With Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 18, 2022

Golden State Warriors forward Otto Porter Jr. (32) puts up a shot against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Veteran wing Otto Porter Jr. is hoping to run it back with the Golden State Warriors next season.

"I do know this team can compete for another championship," the upcoming free agent told reporters Saturday. "And I think it would be a great opportunity if I can stay here. It would be an amazing to be here with this group of guys again and do it all over again."

Porter, 29, appeared in 63 games for the Warriors this season (15 starts), averaging 8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 37.0 percent from three in 22.2 minutes per game.

His role reduced somewhat in the postseason (5.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 19.5 MPG), though head coach Steve Kerr did start him in Games 4-6 of the NBA Finals as the team came out in more of a small-ball look against the Boston Celtics.

That small tactical shift paid off—the Warriors won all three games en route to their fourth championship in the past eight years.

"Man, I learned a lot," Porter told reporters of his year with the Warriors. "How they win. How they go about doing it the right way. There's really no place like it."

He'll be an intriguing option for contending teams around the NBA in need of a solid veteran forward off the bench. It could be tough for the Warriors to retain him—they already have eight players under contract at $171 million, and that's before potentially re-signing players like Kevon Looney or Gary Payton II or signing incoming draft picks.

If Porter is willing to come back on a veteran minimum, it's an easy route to running it back with the Dubs. If a team on the market is willing to offer more for his services, however, he'll have a decision on his hands, with the Warriors already looking at a hefty tax bill.

The Athletic's John Hollinger wrote that "a 'one-plus-one' type contract for the non-taxpayer mid-level exception—signing [Porter] for 2022-23 with a player option for 2023-24—would be a smart move for a contender below the tax line."

The Warriors won't have that exception available to them, expected to be worth $10.3 million. They'll instead have the taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.3 million) if they don't use it elsewhere or a minimum salary to offer.

So if Porter returns to the Dubs, he may be giving up a sizable chunk of change to do so.