Raptors news: Christian Koloko waived, Darko Rajakovic honors deceased friend

Koloko's Raptors career may have come to an abrupt end.
Phoenix Suns v Toronto Raptors
Phoenix Suns v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors needed to waive a player after trading Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers, as they were taking on three new additions in veteran switchblade Bruce Brown, young shooter Jordan Nwora, and former lottery pick point guard Kira Lewis Jr. Unfortunately, Christian Koloko ended up on the chopping block.

Koloko, who hasn't played in an organized basketball game since the end of last season due to a respiratory illness, was waived by Toronto. The No. 33 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft was on such a promising trajectory before this news.

Koloko started 19 of his 58 games last year, averaging 3.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, alongside 1.0 blocks per contest. The Arizona alum could have been a rotation player due to his rebounding and defense, but his health scare prevented him from stepping on the court behind Jakob Poeltl.

It's a shame Koloko's Raptors tenure had to come to this, however, as some rotten health luck has robbed him of his second season. The main priority for Koloko now is getting his body right outside of basketball. When that happens, he could end up making a triumphant return to the professional ranks, possibly with Toronto.

More Raptors news

  • As Blake Murphy mentioned, Koloko's salary being paid out for the remainder of the year means that Toronto could sign him to a Raptors 905 contract as he works his way back to full health. It remains to be seen if another team will snatch him up before the Raptors can funnel him through the system.
  • Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic paid tribute to his friend, Golden State Warriors assistant and fellow Serbian Dejan Milojevic, after he passed away at the age of 46 due to a heart attack. Rajakovic, who referred to Milojevic by his nickname "Deki", ran one of his friend's play designs on the first possession of Toronto's 121-97 win against the Miami Heat. Unsurprisingly, Gary Trent Jr. hit a 3-pointer.

NBA news

  • The trade rumors are not dying down after the Siakam move. After the Warriors failed to trade Andrew Wiggins in their own Siakam frameworks, the Dallas Mavericks emerged as one of many teams on the phone with Golden State discussing a potential Wiggins move.
  • The Boston Celtics' win against the San Antonio Spurs pushed them to 20-0 on the campaign at home with half of the 2023-24 regular season in the books. The 1985-86 Celtics went a preposterous 40-1 at home to set a record for most home wins in a season, meaning Joe Mazzulla would have to run the table and be a perfect 41-0 to top that record.