The Toronto Raptors are just one game away from officially wrapping up their Summer League grind. With star youngsters like Christian Koloko and Dalano Banton on full display on the Las Vegas circuit, many had Toronto’s games circled on their July calendar.
Toronto has had mixed results in their first three games, to say the least. After dominating the 76ers and getting dominated by a motivated Bulls team, the Raptors got back on the right track with an 80-74 victory against the Utah Jazz. 2-1 isn’t the worst mark.
The back end of Toronto’s roster will likely play a significant role in their ability to sustain their success from last year. Even amid all of this unevenness, there have been some genuine standouts who could end up becoming impact players that get some NBA minutes this year.
The Raptors should internalize these three takeaways now that most of the Summer League action has concluded. Toronto needs to take these lessons and integrate them into their larger developmental plan as they return to being a contending team.
3 Toronto Raptors takeaways after Summer League action
3. Christian Koloko is talented, but raw offensively
So far, Koloko has been everything we thought he would be. When he comes in the game, he makes opposing ball-handlers think twice about driving to the lane and can rebound the ball reasonably well. Unfortunately, Koloko appears to be an extensive work in progress offensively.
Koloko went just 8-26 from the field despite a good chunk of his shots coming in close to the rim. Even though he connected on a few jump shots, Koloko is in the Precious Achiuwa camp because he went into the NBA without great touch around the rim. He needs to pick that up in Toronto.
Toronto Raptors rookie Christian Koloko needs to work on his offense.
At the very least, Toronto can take solace in the fact that Koloko is blocking shots and causing turnovers. He was billed as a rim-protecting monster, and he’s doing a very good job of ensuring he can flex his muscles in this area of strength.
Koloko likely fell to the second round because teams were nervous about the time it would take to get him working at an NBA level offensively. With the patience needed to sit back and watch him grow, Toronto is the spot for Koloko to gradually improve his skill around the basket.