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Reports: Raptors backup centre Jontay Porter part of gambling investigation

The Toronto Raptors offered no comment on media reports that backup centre Jontay Porter is part of an investigation for gambling on Monday.

ESPN was the first to report that Porter is subject of an NBA investigation into irregularities on prop betting involving him.

Porter has been on Toronto’s inactive list since Saturday for “personal reasons.” Head coach Darko Rajakovic had given Porter a more prominent role in the Raptors’ rotation after starting centre Jakov Poeltl had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand on March 6.

There was still a nameplate above Porter’s locker at Scotiabank Arena before Monday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets but it was empty. Few of his teammates were in Toronto’s locker room pre-game, with one refusing to answer any questions about the situation.

Jordan Nwora, who’s just in his second season in the NBA, said he couldn’t comment on Porter’s situation as he had only just learned about it from social media.

“I think it’s just simple,” said Nwora on what kind of education players get from the league on gambling protocols. “Just stay away from basketball stuff and other than that, you’re good.

“That’s what we learned about it. Same going as far back as college.”

Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada where betting on sports through online bettors is legal. However, the NBA has strict rules on gambling.

Anyone affiliated with the NBA — players or employees for any of the 30 teams or the league overall — cannot bet on the NBA or any of its properties. That includes the NBA, summer league, WNBA, G-League, Basketball Africa League or NBA2K League.

If sports betting is legal where that person is, betting on other sports is permitted.

Nwora said that he and other players hear from fans about how their performance is impacting their bets constantly.

“All the time. Non-stop,” said Nwora. “You get messages. You hear it on the sideline. You see guys talking about it all the time.

“It is what it is. It comes with being in the NBA. People bet on silly things on a daily basis. So I mean, it’s part of being in the NBA, it’s what comes with it. I get it.”

The 24-year-old Porter is averaging 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 13.8 minutes per game this season. He is on a two-way contract with the G League’s Raptors 905.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2024.

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