After last night’s NBA Draft finished up, it was time for teams to load up on undrafted free agents to fill out the back end of their rosters and summer league squads.
A flurry of tweets from Woj and Shams ensued, and you can be forgiven if you missed the news amidst the noise — but according to Woj, the Raptors are signing Ron Harper, Jr. to a two-way contract.
Ron Harper Jr., -- out of Rutgers and Don Bosco Prep -- has agreed on a two-way deal with the Toronto Raptors, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 24, 2022
The Raptors haven’t officially confirmed the report yet, but Harper Jr. sounds like he’s ready to roll:
58 reasons why let’s work @Raptors https://t.co/BgfLJ3Q6ab— Ron Harper Jr. (@__RHJR) June 24, 2022
Harper, a 6’6” forward, comes from Rutgers, and played all four years for the Scarlet Knights; he averaged 16 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists last year, on 44/40/80 shooting splits. A forceful scorer and strong defender, Harper Jr. led Rutgers to two NCAA tournament appearances (it would have been three, but COVID canceled the 2020 appearance); despite his 6’6” height, Harper often played power forward, using his broad frame defending larger players. The comp that comes to mind for me, then, is PJ Tucker — which is not a bad way to start your NBA career.
Harper, of course, is the son of former NBA first round pick Ron Harper, who won five championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Harper was selected 8th overall in 1986 by then-Cleveland Cavaliers GM Wayne Embry, who serves as a Raptors special consultant to this day.
Once all the paperwork clears, I’m sure we’ll see Harper with the Raptors in Summer League, and if all goes well, he’ll likely have a chance to make an impression at training camp as well.