The Toronto Raptors have signed another young forward who can’t shoot giving Nets cast-off Rondae Hollis-Jefferson a second chance to prove himself in the NBA.
Free agent forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Toronto Raptors, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Hollis-Jefferson gets fresh opportunity in Raptors development system and sets himself up for 2020 free agency.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 7, 2019
Hollis-Jefferson was rounding into form as a decent mid-range shooter in his third season with Brooklyn, but last year he couldn’t find the basket from any range and in today’s NBA a player that can’t hit the three-ball is at risk of being left behind. It’s a short step from starter to gone in the NBA as detailed by . of Nets Daily
Rondae had a solid showing in his second year under Atkinson. He was the primary starter at the 4 and had a breakout year, averaging 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds. However, entering this past season, Hollis-Jefferson was hobbled after straining his hip in Jeremy Lin’s charity basketball game in China.
He fell in and out of the rotation. The Nets had expanded their depth and inserted guys that played the style of ball they wanted to play.
Between the Nets’ analytical-heavy approach and their desire to clear space for free agents, the writing was on the wall.
The Nets were a team on the way up last season and the hip strain couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hollis-Jefferson. Glowing remarks about his intrinsic value to the team weren’t going to be enough get him playing time or land him a new contract in Brooklyn, but for a Raptors team trying to fill out a roster with very limited flexibility, it’s easy to see the attraction.
Rondae is a tough kid from Chester and the 7th Street Ball Courts. He wears his heart on his sleeve and puts others before himself. That’s what made him a fan favorite and that’s what made him the “heart and soul” of the Brooklyn Nets, even when he wasn’t playing much – if at all.
His gritty style of play provided a peep of optimism during a time when there was very little.
It’s only a one-year deal and if can find his third season shooting form and live up to his gritty team-first reputation, the Raptors will be able to find minutes for him.