The Toronto Raptors appeared to have finished up most of their roster building after a productive Summer League stint, but Masai Ujiri had one more surprise up his sleeve. With Juancho Hernangomez unemployed, Ujiri decided to throw the newfound actor a lifeline.
Introduced to the masses as Bo Cruz in the recent film “Hustle,” Hernangomez has quietly been putting together a respectable pro career on the back of a much-improved offensive game. Still, he has gone unsigned for the last few weeks after an iffy final season with the Utah Jazz.
While the Raptors appeared to have all of their roster spots filled up, Ujiri thought that this team needed one more big man in order to have as much competition as possible before final roster cuts are made. He opted for a battle-tested veteran with a sweet jumper.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski, Hernangomez and the Raptors agreed to a one-year contract. While he is fresh off a very disappointing year in Utah, Ujiri and Nick Nurse are gambling on Toronto’s scheme and culture being such a good fit for Juancho that he gets back to the player we saw in Minnesota.
The Toronto Raptors signed Juancho Hernangomez, who played Bo Cruz.
Hernangomez got his start in the NBA when the Denver Nuggets picked him 15th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. Unable to really settle in due to the starters in front of him, Hernangomez was traded to the Timberwolves as a side effect of the Clint Capela to Atlanta trade.
Over the last three seasons, the Spanish big man has averaged 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. While his 42% field goal percentage is not ideal, his 34% success rate from 3-point range shows he can be a respectable offensive option if appropriately utilized.
It remains to be seen how Toronto’s new resident thespian is going to wiggle into the rotation. With both two-way spots filled up and Christian Koloko about to sign his rookie contract, plenty of names will be jockeying for position. Is Hernangomez just a camp body, or a player Toronto values?
We know Hernangomez can act, and we know that he can get buckets at a respectable clip as a stretch big man off the bench. Time will tell how effective he ends up being in Toronto, as the frontcourt situation quickly went from a critical lack of depth to a surplus of backups.