NBA opens gambling investigation of Raptors’ Jontay Porter


The NBA is investigating Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter after unusual bets reportedly were placed on his performance during multiple games this season, a league spokesman said Monday.

An as-yet-unidentified gambler or gamblers placed significant wagers on Porter’s individual statistics — such as points, rebounds, assists and three-pointers — during the Raptors’ Jan. 26 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and a March 20 defeat to the Sacramento Kings, according to ESPN.

In both games, Porter played limited minutes before leaving early with minor injuries. And in both cases, gamblers who wagered that Porter’s individual statistics would go “under” the established betting lines won their bets.

“We’re looking into it,” the NBA spokesman said.

Porter played just four minutes against the Clippers and departed with an eye injury, posting no points, three rebounds and one assist. He logged just three minutes against the Kings before leaving with an illness, finishing with no points, two rebounds and no assists.

After each game, DraftKings informed users that wagers on Porter were among the most profitable for NBA bettors on those nights, ESPN reported.

Porter, 24, hasn’t taken the court for the Raptors since their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. The Missouri product, who is the younger brother of Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., went undrafted in 2019, played 11 games for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2020-21 and spent multiple seasons in the G League before signing a two-way contact with the Raptors in December.

Porter did not play in Saturday’s loss at the Washington Wizards because of “personal reasons” and was not with the Raptors for their game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. He will remain away from the team as the NBA’s investigation unfolds, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation.

Toronto (23-48) entered Monday’s games 12th in the Eastern Conference and will soon be eliminated from contention for the play-in tournament. The Raptors declined to comment on the NBA’s investigation.

The NBA, which has advocated for the expansion of legalized sports betting and has established business partnerships with gambling companies during Adam Silver’s 10-year tenure as commissioner, has avoided a major gambling scandal since referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty on federal charges after betting on games he officiated during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

League rules prohibit all employees, including players, coaches and referees, from gambling on NBA games. Violators of the gambling policy are subject to fines, suspensions and contract termination. The NBA fined Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert $100,000 this month for suggesting the league’s referees were influenced by gamblers.

The NBA’s investigation of Porter became public on the same day that Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani denied involvement in a gambling scandal surrounding Ippei Mizuhara, his former interpreter. Mizuhara allegedly lost millions placing bets with a bookmaker in California, where sports gambling is illegal.

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