Grading every Toronto Raptors move this offseason

Toronto Raptors - Masai Ujiri (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Masai Ujiri (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Signing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

When Rondae Hollis-Jefferson first came into the league, he looked like he was ready to be a draft-day steal. Picked 23rd overall, Hollis-Jefferson was an impact player by his second season. In year two he started 50 games for a bad Brooklyn Nets team, averaging eight points, two assists, and six rebounds per game. He wasn’t killing the competition, but he looked solid.

Three years later, the Nets didn’t even offer him a qualifying offer. Hollis-Jefferson not only plateaued while in Brooklyn, he actively regressed. Last season, his fourth in the NBA, he posted career-lows in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and several other key areas.

Toronto is banking he will be able to turn that around North of the Border. The Toronto Raptors have had great success with internal development, particularly in the shooting department. RHJ serves as the ultimate test.

At this point, it might be time to look at development paths for Hollis-Jefferson that don’t involve a jumper. His best season percentage was his 4-14, 29-percent rookie season. He’s never made 15 threes in a season.

However, even if he can’t help develop a jumper, there might still be hope for Hollis-Jefferson. He’s athletic, has a great feel for the game, and is an absolute pit-bull. You rarely see power forwards succeed in today’s NBA without a three-point shot, but there are a few exceptions.

It will be interesting to see if Toronto believes the jumper is a prerequisite for success from RHJ. If they do, he could be in trouble. If the team is willing to explore other developmental paths, he could be a stealth signing. Hollis-Jefferson can play, even if he can’t shoot. On a one-year contract, he’s a bargain.

Overall Grade: B