Jontay Porter's Raptors teammate weighs in on gambling allegations

Move over 'longest losing streak in over a decade', and make room for a gambling scandal that threatens to jeopardize the integrity of the entire league.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After playing 14 seasons with 12 different NBA teams, it should take a lot to surprise a guy like Garrett Temple. Technically, he's played for more than a third of the league, which means Temple has seen his fair share of NBA drama. However, according to the 37-year-old veteran, nothing tops the Toronto Raptors' 2023-24 season. "This is easily the, I guess you could say, the craziest season [and] team I’ve been a part of in terms of all of these parts, all of these things happening,” Temple told Josh Lewenberg of TSN.

First, they started their season with a lawsuit involving them and the New York Knicks. Then, the Raptors dealt Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers and OG Anunoby to the Knicks at the trade deadline, marking the quiet end of an era, as the final two Raptors from the 2019 championship team departed. We fast forward to today, Scottie Barnes is not only injured but unlikely to return, and the Raptors are in the midst of an 11-game skid, their longest losing streak in over a decade. To add to Toronto's woes this season, the Raptors' Jontay Porter is currently under investigation by the NBA for his alleged involvement in recent “betting irregularities."

Jontay Porter, the brother of Denver Nuggets' Michael Porter Jr., inked a two-way deal with Toronto in December. As Toronto slowly dipped their toe into the rebuilding pool following starting center Jakob Poeltl's injury, Porter actually saw some usage this season. In addition to playing 26 games this season, Porter broke into the starting lineup five times. However, during the Jan. 26 matchup against the LA Clippers and the Mar. 20 game against the Sacramento Kings, there was an unusually high level of betting interest on the under for Porter's props.

In that game on Jan. 26 against the Clippers, Porter played four minutes, grabbed three rebounds, but left the game early because of an eye injury. He didn't score, didn't even attempt a three, and the under hit on all of his props. Weird, but not entirely uncommon for a two-way player.

Here's where it gets fishy — DraftKings' daily report to users revealed that the under on Porter's 3-pointers was the biggest money winner for bettors of any NBA player props from games that evening. In fact, one sportsbook detected multiple betting accounts attempting to bet upwards of $10,000-$20,000 on Porter's unders prior to that game. Say, what are the odds? This happened again during the Kings game on March 20, Porter played three minutes, grabbed two rebounds, and left the game early again. All of Porter's unders hit, and red flags were officially raised.

Porter's teammate, Garrett Temple, expressed his reaction to the news, stating, “[I was] surprised, but at the end of the day nothing’s been proven yet." He continued, emphasizing, “It's an investigation and he's a member of our team, a member of our organization, but also a member of the 450 [union members]. So, my position is that we’re backing him and hope it's not what has been implied.”

Temple, who also serves as vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, offered his stance on sports betting and its rise in prevalence, stating, "Sports betting has always been around, it just obviously is even more available." He continued, "As a veteran, I don't really think about it as much because it's always been a rule. It's not as if a rule change happened."

Porter missed the Raptors last two games due to “personal reasons". He's already ruled out for Wednesday’s contest against New York. As of now, Porter's fate lies in the hands of the league, and it will be fascinating to witness how the NBA navigates this situation.

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