The warriors finally enter the fray of free agencies, sign Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica – .

The warriors finally enter the fray of free agencies, sign Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica – .

The Golden State Warriors’ foray into free agency began late Monday night when the team signed veteran winger Otto Porter Jr, and then continued through Tuesday with the addition of Nemanja Bjelica.

Porter, a sole beneficiary of the maximum contract, chose the Dubs on a veteran minimum deal. Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reports that Porter even turned down better offers from other teams just so he could join Golden State.

Porter concluded last season in basketball purgatory – aka Orlando Magic – after a mid-season trade from his previous team, the Chicago Bulls. For the past two years, he has been unable to stay on the pitch due to injury. In 2019-2020, he only managed to play 14 games. In 2020-2021, he doubled that number to 28, which is still well below what you would expect from a role player. Porter has faced an assortment of foot and back injuries, which could have long-term effects.

But there’s a reason the Washington Wizards once felt pressured to give Porter a four-year contract – and no, it wasn’t just the institutional incompetence many expect from their organization. Porter, 28, is an incredible shooter (40.2% out of 3-point range for his career) and still has the physical attributes to be a strong defenseman, winger and rebounder for his new team, despite being part of the the second unit. As he tries to jumpstart his career, Porter’s signing is ultimately a very low risk, fairly high reward situation.

Bjelica’s signing is a bit simpler. The tall 33-year-old played a small role with the Miami Heat last season until injuries to others eventually pushed him higher on the bench and even in the starting lineup for a while. From 2017 to 2020, Bjelica shot better than 40% beyond the arc. At the start of the 2020-21 season, as a member of the Sacramento Kings, Bjelica’s numbers plummeted. Once distributed in Miami, it regained its shot, something the Warriors hope to carry into the 2021-2022 campaign.

Porter and Bjelica may not be the big free agency splashes you expect from a team wanting to return to the Championship, but they are, to say the least, a pair of smart signings.


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