The first call Otto Porter Jr. made when the Toronto showed interested in trading for him was to friend Thaddeus Young, who is exited about the extra veteran presence Porter Jr. will bring to the Raptors this season.
- He spoke a lot late last season about some of the young guys coming to you, picking your brain.
THAD YOUNG: Mm-hmm.
- You've got another vet here in Otto.
THAD YOUNG: Perfect vet. Perfect vet.
- How much is it going to help this year to be able to blend in, like, the experience that you guys bring with some of the youth, and stuff that the younger guys bring this year?
THAD YOUNG: Oh, it's going to help a lot. I mean, especially, like, we're trying to man the second unit. Otto's going to be perfect for that, for the simple fact of, like, he's fresh off a championship. You know, he's been down that stretch.
He's played several years in the league. He understands how to play the game. We were teammates once before. So you know, he's a great person, an extreme professional.
And he knows how to play basketball. He knows how to be in the right spot. So he knows how to teach guys.
And guys respect his voice. That's one of the biggest things. You bring in a guy that guys are going to respect, and it just makes the team so much better.
OTTO PORTER JR.: Like Thad said, we've got a bunch of young guys that-- hungry. They're ready to do whatever it takes. And by having that extra vet to help Thad out with the guys-- they're already picking our brains, you know, first day. They want to get to that elite level.
And it's our job to pass down information that I got from Golden State or from my previous years playing. We definitely want to share that with the younger generation.
- Did Otto reach out at all when he--
THAD YOUNG: First thing he did. [LAUGHS] First thing he did. He said, yo, Toronto's calling me. What's up?
I said-- I say, come on through. Come on through. We're a family over here. So you know-- but very excited to have him. He's definitely one of my better friends in the league. And he's a guy that definitely reached out to me and asked me all the questions that needed to be asked.
And you know, I told him. I said, look, just come on through. Like, sign a deal. Let's go. And we're going to be ready-- ready to rock and roll.
OTTO PORTER JR.: Lead by example. You know, that's the biggest thing. The head guys put in the work, you know? And that's where it starts. Young guys see the older guys putting in more work than them, you know something's not right. So that's just by leading by example.
- How have you seen him grow over the years?
THAD YOUNG: I've seen him, I mean, grow tremendously. At first, Otto was, like, super quiet. And then he kind of just started to be a little bit more outspoken as time comes.
And I think I started off like that in my younger years as well, just being quiet, letting other guys be-- take the lead, and then started to kind of, like, grow into that role. And you know, I think he's a tremendous leader. I think he's a great player, obviously, and a guy who's going to definitely help us down the stretch.