Raptors sign undrafted UNC big man Kennedy Meeks

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 03: Kennedy Meeks
GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 03: Kennedy Meeks /

Kennedy Meeks was an undrafted free agent out of the University of North Carolina who was signed by the Raptors this week. Here is what you need to know about him.

Kennedy Meeks is the newest member of the Toronto Raptors.

He was signed to a contract following an impressive performance during NBA Summer League and will compete for a roster spot heading into training camp come September.

Meeks was a pleasant surprise for the Raptors coming out of Summer League. He averaged 11.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in just 15.5 minutes over four games.

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Meeks is from Charlotte, NC where he was a high school McDonald’s All-America for West Charlotte HS.

Meeks was rated as a four-star prospect and was the No. 5 ranked centre in the country (Joel Embiid was No. 2). He was the No. 58 overall prospect before committing to play for Roy Williams and the Tar Heels.

A real student-athlete

Kennedy is the son of Nokhia Meeks and Dana Hobbs and majored in communications studies in college. He wore the No. 3 jersey in honour of the Holy Trinity and was a pretty decent tennis player for his high school team.

Meeks was a four-year player for North Carolina, leading the Tar Heels to the 2017 NCAA Championship. In the final game, he had seven points and 10 rebounds and it was his block at the end of the game on Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss that helped seal the victory.

In the Final Four match-up against the Oregon Ducks (who were led by Toronto’s Dillon Brooks), Meeks was an absolute beast and had a career high 25 points with 14 rebounds on 11 of 13 shooting. He put the Tar Heels on his back and willed them to victory.

Despite his impressive college career, Meeks’ name wasn’t called on draft day; he was skipped over by all 30 teams. During his college career he was listed as 6-foot-9 or 6-foot-10 but he only measured 6-foot-8 at the NBA combine.

Another knock against him come draft night was that scouts felt that he wasn’t even the best player on his team.

Justin Jackson was considered the Tar Heels star player and was selected in the first round (15th overall) by the Portland Trailblazers. Tony Bradley was another Tar Heels teammate selected in the first round (28th overall) by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Has he reached his ceiling already?

The trend in the NBA is teams selecting younger, more athletic players who they feel has a higher ceiling. There’s concern about selecting a player who played all four years of college and may have already peaked.

However, Meeks is just one of those guys who is a gamer.

He doesn’t wow you with freakish athleticism but he does all of the little things right and plays like a crafty veteran.

Meeks will have an opportunity to make the Raptors 15-man roster coming out of training camp. He will probably start the season with Raptors 905 of the G-League and have an opportunity to prove himself at that level.

Don’t be surprised to see Meeks making big plays at the Air Canada Centre by Christmas time. He might become a valuable asset to the Raptors organization.

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