Toronto Raptors 21 in 21: Will Kevin Obanor make the team in 2023?

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 13: Forward Kevin Obanor #0 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
LUBBOCK, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 13: Forward Kevin Obanor #0 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are leaning into the youth in 2023-24, which will give a new collection of backups the motivation they need to become quality NBA players. Kevin Obanor is one of many rookies trying to make himself stick around in the pros.

After the Raptors drafted Gradey Dick and signed the supremely confident Markquis Nowell to a two-way deal, Obanor signed an Exhibit 10 contract. After making a name for himself with Oral Roberts during their Cinderella run, Obanor made the move over to Texas Tech.

His limited athletic profile let him fall into the ranks of the undrafted, but the Raptors seem to be of the mindset that he has enough skills to bring him into their much-heralded G League program. Is this where he gets the issues in his game ironed out for good?

Toronto Raptors 21 in 21: Exhibit 10 PF Kevin Obanor

Stats (with Texas Tech): 14.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49% FG, 33% 3PT

Obanor shot 46% from 3-point range during his final season with Oral Roberts, but his two years in Lubbock failed to see him replicate those numbers. His defense stood out, as he fits the model of what Toronto wants to see from their power forwards on that side of the floor.

While Tech struggled to replicate their past success last season, Obanor was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. His production warranted NBA consideration, but he likely went undrafted due to his lack of amazing athletic ability and the fact he was a fifth-year senior.

Best Case for Kevin Obanor in 2023

Obanor ends up making a few appearances for the Raptors this season, becoming one of their first call-ups from the G League when injuries happen. Obanor would need to beat out another Exhibit 10 signee in Mouhamadou Gueye to be able to make this fantasy a reality.

Obanor is never going to be an amazing creator, but he needs to be a solid catch-and-shoot threat on 3-pointers and a post presence that can gobble up rebounds. That shouldn’t be too difficult for him to accomplish at the G League level after a solid college career.

Worst Case for Kevin Obanor in 2023

Obanor could be cut loose without a second thought if his shooting continues to flatline. With how little he played in Summer League and the big collection of power forwards ahead of him in the Toronto pecking order, he isn’t exactly starting off on the best foot.

The Raptors cut Gabe Brown loose after their last Exhibit 10 deal failed to develop. Obanor’s pro prospects hinge on his versatility remaining intact, his 3-point shot getting on track, and his ability to get to the basket improving steadily. Without it, Obanor might need to look for a new team.