Just shy of 24 hours after Arizona Wildcat standout center, Christian Koloko, was officially named the newest member of the Toronto Raptors, sentiments from each corner of the Twitterverse began pouring in praising Masai Ujiri for what appears to be yet another draft steal on his resume.
In his junior season playing in the Pac-12, the 7’1, 230-pound center averaged 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and a conference-leading 2.8 blocks per game, culminating in him winning both Defensive Player of The Year, and Most Improved Player honours.
Coincidentally, both Koloko and Pascal Siakam hail from the same town of fewer than three million people: Douala, Cameroon. Prepared for the pick, the Raptors marketing team quickly took to social media to share an old and blurry picture of the two posing together.
When asked about his general thoughts on Koloko during his draft night press conference , Nick Nurse replied, “Good shot blocker. Really good defensive numbers. … Pretty decent pick-and-roll player. And he’s got good feet. … I think he’s not without the ability to do some switching and move on the perimeter as well.”
“If he protects the rim as well as I think he does it gives you a chance to being even more aggressive out on the wings and try to be even more turnover driven,” he added, hinting that the Raptors may return to a funneling defensive strategy which they often employed in the presence of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol.
Unfortunately, Bobby Webster later revealed that Koloko is currently dealing with issues regarding his visa and is unable to enter Canada, however he will certainly make an appearance in the dinos red and white at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, which is scheduled to begin on July 7th. For odds on how the Raptors will fare in Nevada, be sure to check out the best Canadian online sportsbooks.