The Toronto Raptors only had one draft pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but they were largely considered to have hit a home run by taking Arizona center Christian Koloko at No. 33 overall. Even though he is a bit of a work in progress, his talent is obvious.
Koloko has officially wrapped up Summer League play. While there were some challenging moments offensively, Raptors fans should love the fact that his defense appeared to be every bit as good as advertised. He might take some time to work with, but the skills are plentiful.
Masai Ujiri seems to have responded to the chorus of fans who begged Toronto to add a seven-footer, as the towering Koloko will undoubtedly help the Raptors be a better defensive team in the paint. He just needs the right person to believe in him and accentuate his talents.
Raptors fans may need to wait a year or two before they see the full fruits of Toronto’s labor regarding Koloko, but he will be well worth that patience. Fans have every right to think that Koloko can eventually become someone who contributes to a contending team in a significant way.
3 reasons Toronto Raptors fans should be hyped for Christian Koloko.
3. His ceiling on offense
The Raptors drafted Koloko knowing that he would need some time in Mississauga. He needs to develop the touch around the rim that a seven-footer needs to succeed in the league. While that might take some time, fans have already seen flashes of success.
Koloko has shown a reasonably solid shooting form in limited Summer League time, showing that the potential for rapid improvement still exists. Considering their recent run of success with big men in this area, Koloko might end up shooting well sooner rather than later.
Toronto Raptors: Christian Koloko will evolve into a quality scorer.
Scottie Barnes went from someone who looked scared to shoot 3-pointers in college to a respectable deep sniper. Precious Achiuwa went from a complete non-factor from beyond the 3-point line to someone who kicked the second unit right in the rear during the latter half of the season.
Raptors fans expecting immediate returns might be disappointed. Still, imagining Koloko with some pick-and-pop ability and an excellent face-up game should help fans feel more confident in Toronto’s long-term outlook. Koloko will get there eventually; he just needs some 905 pixie dust first.