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Jarrod Uthoff

Raptors Sign Undrafted Iowa Forward Jarrod Uthoff

The Toronto Raptors have signed undrafted Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff to a partially guaranteed two-year deal or more accurately, they have invited him to training camp and are making sure he earns enough to live on if he ends up on the Raptors 905.

The 6’10 214 lb 23-year-old was a prolific three-point shooter with the Hawkeye’s over three seasons and averaged 38.2 percent from three-point range on 5.2 attempts as a senior. Uthoff put up 18.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.5 blocks per game last season.

Mark Emmert of Hawk Central writes,

The former Iowa Hawkeye star went undrafted Thursday, a mild surprise after many projections had him as a mid-second round pick.

“Jarrod Uthoff has a bizarre game that almost seems hard to place in the NBA,” explained Adi Joseph, a deputy editor for the Sporting News. “Will he be able to block shots at the NBA level? And if he can’t, will he be able to defend well enough in other ways? That was the worry with him. He has the size and skills, but they don’t fit a traditional or even a modern NBA role.”

“He can knock down shots, space the floor and I think he can hang on the defensive end,” ESPN draft expert Jay Bilas had said of Uthoff earlier in the week, predicting he would be a second-round choice. “As long as he gets with the right team, I think he can be a help to somebody.”

The Draft Express scouting report illustrates why the Raptors are showing interest in him.

Uthoff has tremendous size for a small forward, and despite lacking prototypical length, could conceivably play power forward in small lineups depending on the situation.

He is a solid, but not spectacular athlete on the whole, though he makes good use of the tools he does have on the defensive end, mitigating some concerns about how his physical tools might translate.

An exceptionally smooth, prolific jump shooter who can score in a variety of ways, Uthoff did a little bit of everything for the Hawkeye’s this season as the team’s clear first option

His ability to make shots from beyond the arc and from the midrange should help him provide value as a floor spacer at the next level. His 80% career shooting from the free throw line won’t hurt either.

Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri had indicated he was looking for more shooting this summer and if Uthoff’s game can translate to the NBA, he certainly can bring that aspect to the court.

However, Uthoff didn’t earn his deal with Toronto based on his NBA Summer League production. He averaged just 17.2 minutes, 4.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block in 4 games with the Kings in Las Vegas. He scored 2 points against the Raptors Summer League team in a 88-47 blowout loss.

Once again this season Ujiri is bringing guys that might take the final spot on the roster if the team doesn’t pick up someone more interesting or a little further along in their career. Uthoff, however, does fill a need and just maybe he can prove himself before someone else locks up the last spot.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 


 

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