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NBA Rumors: Utah Jazz Considering Buyout With NBA Champion

Feb 14, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) arrives at the Delta Center before the game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks after acquiring him at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, the Utah Jazz are reportedly expected to cut ties with former NBA champion Otto Porter Jr. and add him to the buyout market. According to Tony Jones of the Athletic, Porter is not with the team and he has returned home to “evaluate his options.

The Jazz landed Porter Jr. in the trade that sent big man Kelly Olynyk to the Toronto Raptors. Since the trade, Porter Jr. has not suited up for the Jazz. Although, head coach Will Hardy made it clear the wing was unlikely to join the rotation.

On the season, Porter Jr. appeared in 15 games for the Raptors. In those games, the 30-year-old is averaging 2.6 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.

NBA Rumors: Utah Jazz Considering Buyout With NBA Champion

Why The Jazz May Buy Out Otto Porter Jr.

Porter Jr. does not fit Utah’s timeline whatsoever. The Jazz are 26-30 coming out of the All-Star Break and own the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference. It will be difficult for them to make the Play-In Tournament, let alone go on a deep playoff run. Just two seasons ago, Porter Jr. played a major role on the 2022 champion Golden State Warriors. Since then, it has been difficult for him to stay healthy. The Jazz are a young team with the potential to contend in the near future.

Additionally, timeline aside, the Jazz already have a great frontcourt. Porter Jr. can play either forward position and has experience playing small ball center. However, the Jazz already have Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, and Walker Kessler in the frontcourt. Simply put, holding on to Porter Jr. would not make sense.

Teams That Could Have Interest in Otto Porter Jr.

Before the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, one team showing interest in Porter Jr. was the Boston Celtics. Ultimately, they landed another forward in Jaden Springer, so it is unclear if Porter Jr. would still be on their radar. That said, the Celtics did keep an open roster spot and will likely play the buyout market.

Though they have not been directly linked to the forward, one team that may make sense is the Phoenix Suns. Recently, the team signed veteran Thaddeus Young after the Trade Deadline. Additionally, Phoenix reportedly had interest in Danilo Gallinari before he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks. Like Boston, the Suns have another roster spot remaining, and it would make sense for them to grab another forward.

Lastly, a reunion with the Warriors could be in the mix for Porter Jr. After recently converting Lester Quinones‘ two-way contract to a standard one, Golden State has a roster spot left. The Warriors are in need of forward depth. Reuniting with a player who was critical in their 2022 championship run makes sense.


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