Former Raptors fan-favorite on unreal hot streak at FIBA World Cup

Toronto Raptors. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Raptors. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

While his time with the Toronto Raptors was not very long, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made a very strong impression on this fanbase for his hard-nosed style of play. RHJ hasn’t played in the NBA for quite some time, but he is still trying his hardest to show the world what he is made of.

Hollis-Jefferson recently obtained citizenship in Jordan to play for their national team in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Despite the fact they lacked NBA talent and faced long odds of success in this tournament, the former first-round pick took it upon himself to show the rest of the competition.

Hollis-Jefferson went viral on Twitter earlier in the tournament, as his herky-jerky movements and smooth jumper while wearing the No. 24 had some fans getting nostalgic for the days when Kobe Bryant would start torching opponents. He has provided both sizzle and steak, as Jordan is living and dying by what RHJ does.

Hollis-Jefferson scored 39 points against New Zealand, which is the highest-scoring game in this tournament. While he isn’t going to put up those sorts of numbers in the NBA, RHJ’s stats make him seem like a player who could come back to these illustrious ranks and be a somewhat impactful player.

Former Toronto Raptors PF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson starring for Jordan.

After averaging 9.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on some uncompetitive Nets teams, RHJ got his chance to compete when he signed a one-year deal with the Raptors. He averaged 7.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 60 contests with the post-Kawhi Leonard Raptors.

Even after a somewhat strong Raptors tenure, his market was so small that he needed to sign a non-guaranteed preseason deal with Minnesota before an unmemorable 11-game stint with the Blazers. Hollis-Jefferson has played in Turkiye, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines after his NBA career hit the skids.

Still just 28 years old, Hollis-Jefferson has shown that he has plenty of gas left in the tank. The biggest issue with him as a professional prospect was a general lack of solid shooting and offensive creativity, but his time on the international stage has helped him.

Hollis-Jefferson got done dirty by the rest of the league, as his lack of shooting overruled all the other positive things he brought to the table. Raptors fans know what he can provide off the bench, and that could only be amplified now that he has extra offensive traits to gush about.

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