Toronto Raptors: Under the radar signings to address frontcourt needs

Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Jahlil Okafor six-foot-ten Center

Toronto Raptors
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 27: Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Jahlil Okafor was drafted third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2015. He has now spent five seasons in the NBA, most of which has been unspectacular. Should the Toronto Raptors sign this New Orleans Pelicans center, it would not be a grand move. It would not be meant as one but one that solidifies depth on the Toronto Raptors team.

Okafor’s most prolific season in the NBA was his rookie season of 2015/16.  Back then, he averaged 17.5 points and 7 rebounds per game. However, he had not scored in double digits since his sophomore season when he produced 11.8 points a game. Unless he returns to New Orleans, he will be looking for employment on a fourth team in six seasons.

One of the main issues with Jahlil Okafor has been health.  He has only played in 220 games out of a potential 400 regular-season games in his career. However, he was an extremely efficient scorer in 2020, with New Orleans, connecting 62.3 percent of his field goals. He also became a credible three-point shooter in 2020, making 33.3 percent of his long-range attempts.

There are several benefits he could bring to the Toronto Raptors.  First, as a backup player, he would be more productive offensively than Marc Gasol was in 2020, who only averaged 7.5 points per game as a starter and was injury-prone. Further, Jahlil Okafor was paid 1.7 million in 2020, so even doubling his salary does not hamstring the Raptors’ salary cap flexibility.