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Rondae Hollis-Jefferson thought Raptors would draft him in 2015

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Raptors

New Toronto Raptors free agent signee Rondae Hollis-Jefferson thought the Canadian franchise would draft him 20th overall in 2015, per a TSN radio interview on Thursday.

Hollis-Jefferson signed a one-year deal worth a league minimum in the offseason, although recent reports indicate the contract is slightly more, at $2.5 million, per Early Bird Rights’ Jeff Siegel.

The 24-year-old forward spent four seasons with the Brooklyn Nets before becoming a free agent this summer. After signing premier free agents in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan, the Nets turned their attention away from re-signing the elastic 6-foot-7 defender.

Hollis-Jefferson entered the 2015 NBA Draft after a two-year career at the University of Arizona, where he was selected with the 23rd pick in the first round by Brooklyn. Per Josh Lewenberg of TSN, Hollis-Jefferson believed Toronto was going to take him whereas Delon Wright was selected instead.

Hollis-Jefferson averaged 9.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 23.6 minutes per game and 234 appearances in his four-year stint with Brooklyn. He shot 44.4% from the field, 22.3% from deep, and 73.9% from the free throw line.

He’s made his mark in the NBA as a savvy defender and poor shooter from the perimeter, instead being a capable ball handler for his position—he’s a small forward with power forward defensive matchup possibilities.

The Raptors are looking to retool the team in the absence of free agents and NBA champions Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green signing with the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, respectively. The team will conceivably turn to Most Improved Player winner Pascal Siakam as the key to next year’s team, will contributors like Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Kyle Lowry as surrounding talent.