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Healthy Otto Porter Jr. will be Warriors’ X-factor in 2021-22 season

Otto Porter Jr., Warriors, Warriors X-factor

The Golden State Warriors’ arsenal was almost on full display in their preseason opener against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Jordan Poole led all scorers with 30 points, while Otto Porter Jr. led the bench with 19 points in 18 minutes. Signing Porter could have been the steal of the summer for the Dubs. The Warriors got Porter for a bargain price in the offseason, and he could wind up being a major steal and an X-factor in 2021-22.

Porter’s career has been stunted with injuries in recent years. In the last two seasons, he was only able to play a total of 42 games. Monday night was only one game, but he looked excellent. It gave a glimpse of what he could potentially do for the team in the future if healthy. Questions on how he feels physically will be the topic all season.

“I haven’t felt this great in a long time. I felt really good. I’ll continue to do what I need to do to continue to feel this way. I’ll make sure I get my work in with my trainers and the Golden State Warriors staff. Just continue to stay on top of everything,” Porter told ClutchPoints.

Porter is 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan. His size allows him to play either forward position. He can stretch the floor on offense and has the physicality to hold his own against slightly taller opponents. That makes him an automatic fit in the Warriors’ small-ball offense.

You can only hope the best for Porter. Nobody enjoys watching a player with so much potential get derailed by injuries. Porter won’t ever be a superstar in this league, but he deserves the chance to play a lengthy and healthy career.

“I still got some kinks. I’m still getting my legs back under me. Today was only the first game so, you can only continue to get better from there. It’s just a starting point, and every day I plan to continue learning and getting better. Playing with these guys and continue to figure things out,” the Warriors forward said.

In Porter’s career, he’s averaging 10.9 points while shooting 47.9 from the field and 40.2 percent from 3-point land in 26.5 minutes per game. His highest scoring output came with the Washington Wizards in 2017-18 when he averaged 14.7 points while shooting 50.3 from the field and a career-high 44.1 from deep.

The one thing Porter has done for multiple teams when on the floor is shooting the ball with consistency. It’s something the Warriors hope to take advantage of this season. He’s not a volume shooter, so it won’t take him many attempts to make an impact. If you can pair that with the Warriors’ core group, you will have this year’s X-factor.