The Toronto Raptors draft plans will possible embody drafting a giant man sooner or later, as signing Khem Birch and Freddie Gillespie, regardless of how efficient they’ve been, under no circumstances solves the cavernous gap that continues to be on this roster. If Masai Ujiri desires so as to add via the draft, search for him to focus on Illinois middle Kofi Cockburn.
Cockburn and level guard Ayo Dosunmu would possibly’ve been knocked out within the Spherical of 32 within the NCAA Match, however this inside-outside duo led the Preventing Illini to a top-three nationwide rating and a No. 1 seed. On a staff that cherished to push the tempo, Cockburn needed to solidify the paint on each side of the ground.
Cockburn averaged 17.7 factors and 9.5 rebounds per recreation final yr whereas taking pictures 63% from the ground. Given his 7-0, 285-pound body, which can truly be nearer to 300-pounds, and Greek God-like arms, he’s spending most of his time down within the low publish, ramming proper via the breastbone of anybody who dares to problem him.
After Dosunmu confirmed that he was declaring for the NBA Draft after his junior yr, Cockburn adopted him as a sophomore, although he’s nonetheless sustaining his faculty eligibility. If he sticks round and stays intent on going professional, he might discover a dwelling north of the border.
Toronto Raptors draft: Kofi Cockburn Strengths
Whenever you’re 300 kilos, it doesn’t matter who’s D-ing you up. They are going to be in for a battle. Cockburn does will throw his weight round within the publish, and he’s changing into a a lot for environment friendly finisher within the paint. A fantastic rebounder that’s an immovable wall as a screen-setter, Cockburn blends the mentality of a throwback middle with the athletic skill of somebody a lot slimmer.
On protection, Cockburn made an enormous leap over the course of his second season in Champaign. His publish footwork is way improved, as is his skill to guard the rim. He gained’t run the ground like Allen Iverson, however he can transfer effectively for his dimension. His double-double potential is finally what will likely be his meal ticket.
Toronto Raptors draft: Kofi Cockburn Weaknesses
Cockburn is barely a menace inside six ft of the basket. If he will get the ball in his arms outdoors of that space, defenders would possibly as effectively again away, as he’s a whole non-factor. If the one transfer he’ll come to the NBA with is backing down bigs and ending blocks, he’s going to have a really tough time within the professionals.
Cockburn shouldn’t be a fantastic shot-blocker for his dimension, and since he lacks a ton of defensive versatility, having the ability to block pictures ought to be the perfect arrow he has in his quiver. In opposition to groups that prefer to push the tempo and play small, a quantity rising with every passing yr, Cockburn would get attacked relentlessly.
How would Kofi Cockburn match on the Toronto Raptors?
Cockburn is a really restricted participant, each within the brief and long-term resulting from his one-dimensional enjoying fashion, that means that he’ll possible require time within the G League to slim down only a tad, work on operating the ground within the high-octane trendy NBA, and broaden his offensive recreation past simply dunking the ball.
Having stated that, Birch is on this staff as a result of he offers muscle, rebounding, and inside ending. If the Raptors are bought on Cockburn’s potential in that regard, he might doubtlessly be tabbed by Ujiri as the subsequent backup middle behind whomever he indicators to beef up their roster within the offseason.