After a slow start on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Ron Harper Jr. scored 10 fourth quarter points for the Toronto Raptors’ 94-90 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Harper Jr. was just 1 of 7 from the floor through three quarters, including 0-3 from three-point range. However, he exploded with two dunks and a driving layup in the first minute and a half of the final frame. This emphatic slam ignited the former Rutgers star who went on to score baskets on three straight possessions.
— Rutgers Men’s Basketball 🏀 (@RutgersMBB) July 12, 2023
He then got to the foul line, converting all four free throw attempts down the stretch. Harper Jr.’s final line in his third NBA Summer League game was 12 points, 7 rebounds, a block and a steal in a team high 33 minutes.
In the NBA Summer League opener for the Raptors last Friday, Toronto lost 83-74 to the Chicago Bulls. Harper Jr. led the Raptors with a team high plus/minus rating of +8 in 30 minutes of play. The second year player finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block along with 2 turnovers. He shot 3 of 10 from the floor, 2 of 7 from three-point range and 2 of 2 from the foul line.
On Sunday, Harper Jr. had 7 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and a steal in 22 minutes. He shot 3 of 10 from the floor including 1 of 5 from three-point range. The Raptors lost 99-76.
In his first professional season as a two-player for the Toronto Raptors, Harper Jr. developed into a more complete player. Harper Jr. averaged 17.1 points. 5.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 29 regular season games. He shot 50% from the field, 62.8% from two-point range and 36% from 3-point range for the Raptors 905. Harper Jr. produced a triple-double in March in the G League before scoring 10 points in for the Raptors on the final day of the NBA regular season.
He was recently made a restricted free agent after receiving a tendered qualifying offer from the Raptors. It means other NBA teams can make offers to Harper Jr. However, the Raptors have the option to match. Having a strong summer league performance is critical in positioning himself well ahead of training camp in hopes of making an NBA roster.
Ron is back in action with the Raptors on Thursday, July 13 at 5:00 p.m ET against the Brooklyn Nets on ESPN2.
Former Rutgers teammate Caleb McConnell had a second strong game on Tuesday. He scored 6 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, including 5 on the offensive glass, along with 3 assists, a steal and a block with zero turnovers. McConnell continues to make his case to the OKC Thunder that he deserves a two-way deal. On Wednesday, McConnell had 4 rebounds and 2 assists without a turnover and without taking a shot in 13 minutes. The Thunder play again on Friday, July 14 at 4:30 p.m. on NBA TV against the Washington Wizards.
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