NBA Champion would be a perfect fit for the Phoenix Suns' last roster spot

If Otto Porter Jr. gets bought out, the Phoenix Suns should sign him to fill their last roster spot, as he's a perfect fit for the team.

Toronto Raptors v Indiana Pacers
Toronto Raptors v Indiana Pacers / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Considering the assets they were working with, the Phoenix Suns did incredibly well at this year's trade deadline. By acquiring Royce O’Neale in a trade, and Thaddeus Young on the buyout market, they were able to add two players who figure to be in their rotation going forward.

The Suns can make this acquisition period even more impressive, as they now have an open roster spot they need to fill via the buyout market. 

At this moment there aren't really any appealing options as the rest of the premier buyout candidates have all been scooped up. That could change in the near future though, as a new name might possibly enter that pool. 

According to Tony Jones of the Athletic, the Utah Jazz have allowed Otto Porter Jr. to go home and consider his options for the rest of the season, one of which is a contract buyout. The Jazz had just acquired Porter, apparently as filler, on the February 8th deadline. If that’s the path he chooses, then he would be the best case scenario for the Suns' final roster spot.

Two years ago, Porter played an integral role on the Golden State Warriors championship team when he averaged 22.1 and 19.5 mpg during the regular season and playoffs, respectively. He then signed with the Toronto Raptors, only playing 23 games over the last two years due to injury.

He’s apparently healthy now, and that year with Golden State, along with his entire career beforehand, reflects his value much more accurately than the last two seasons.  

That value comes from Porter skillset as a glue guy. As a 6’8 athletic wing, he’s a strong defender capable of guarding multiple positions. That, along with his career 3-point percentage of 39%, make him a true 3-and-D wing. 

While the Suns acquistion of O'Neale finally gave them a playable wing in their supporting cast, that trade was made at the expense of nearly every other backup wing they had. Now, those players weren’t getting much playing time and weren’t going to factor into the postseason rotation anyway, but it does mean that the Suns are still very shallow at that position.

Porter would provide them with playable depth there. The Suns are extremely small at their guard and wing positions, so his size would be a huge help on defense and the boards. He's also a significantly more reliable 3-point shooter than Josh Okogie and Nassir Little, and even better from there than O'neale and Young.

Also of note is that Porter was a long-time teammate of Bradley Beal's when they were on the Washington Wizards together. Some of Porter's best years came with the Wizards, and they also show how comfortable he is an ancillary player.

The bugaboo with Porter is his health. While the last two seasons have been rock bottom for him in that regard, he averages just under 50 games played per season for his career. That’s worrisome, not just because of the Suns’ own injury situation, but also for what it could mean for his playing ability.

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Porter is still just 30-years-old though, so if he's able to stay healthy, there shouldn't be too much of a drop in play, if any, from his productive years. Regardless, those worries shouldn't dissuade the Suns from signing him.

It was unlikely the Suns were going to get anyone of note to fill that last roster spot. Taking a flyer on a player with Porter's upside is exactly what it should be used for. He’s not signed after this year so there’s no long-term commitment if he’s unproductive. 

This would be a true low-risk, high-reward move for the Suns. That's the exact kind of move that they should be targeting with their final roster spot.