BREAKING NEWS:”Porter Granted Leave by Jazz: Exploring Alternatives”

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, league sources tell The Athletic.

The 30-year-old Porter, whom the Jazz acquired two weeks ago when they traded Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji to the Toronto Raptors, 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.

In 2022, Porter was an integral part of the Golden State Warriors’ run to the NBA title. Coming off the bench, Porter played all three frontcourt positions. His defense allowed the Warriors to switch almost everything, and his length and athleticism helped the Warriors become one of the better defensive teams in the league. Offensively, Porter spaced the floor with his shooting and served as a connector and secondary playmaker.

Porter was often injured during his tenure with Toronto, playing just 23 games combined over two seasons with the Raptors. But now that he’s fully healthy, according to league sources, Porter could potentially help another team in position to compete for a championship. The Jazz, since the trade deadline, are committed to playing rookie forward Taylor Hendricks major minutes, to evaluate him for the offseason. As a result, the team is allowing Porter the freedom to evaluate his next steps.

Porter was in uniform last week before the All-Star break, as the Jazz lost to the Warriors. The 30-year-old Georgetown alum has been in the league for a decade and was originally drafted third overall in 2013 by the Washington Wizards.

 

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