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Ron Harper Jr. has solid start in NBA Summer League debut



Harper Jr.
Nov 23, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Ron Harper Jr. (8) drives to the net against \b25\during the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Former Rutgers star Ron Harper Jr. started for the Toronto Raptors in the club’s first NBA Summer League game on Friday night in Las Vegas. Despite the Raptors 83-74 loss to the Chicago Bulls, Harper Jr. made a positive impression with his all around play.

The second year player led the Raptors with a team high plus/minus rating of +8 in 30 minutes of play. Harper Jr. 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.

Harper Jr. played well in a backcourt that featured lottery pick Gradey Dick and March Madness darling Markquis Nowell from Kansas State as well as former Iowa wing Joe Wieskamp.

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.

The Raptors and Harper Jr. are back in action on Sunday, July 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV against the Cleveland Cavaliers. On Thursday, his former Rutgers teammate Caleb McConnell had a standout performance for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The rookie hopes to earn a two-way deal with the Thunder similarly to Harper Jr. with the Raptors last season.

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  1. thevinman

    July 8, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Kudos to Ron. That kid Nowell sure can pass the ball.

  2. RUinChiTown

    July 9, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    Good for Ron! But he needs to improve his shooting performance.

    Now, send your kid Brother to RU, please!

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