After three years at the University of North Carolina, J.P Tokoto decided to declare for the NBA draft. Forgoing his senior year was a risky move for the Tar Heel. Tokoto was a role player in college on some decent North Carolina teams. He watched the majority of the draft go by without hearing his name called, but with the third to last pick the Philadelphia 76ers came calling. Tokoto’s stats will not jump off the page at you. He is not the type of player you can judge solely by the box score. He can impact the game on hustle plays and defense. His best fit in the NBA would be at small forward, although he is a tad small for the position.
Tokoto is a great athlete and is at his best when he is out in the open floor. His athleticism helps him finish at the rim and wreak havoc on the defensive end. He can play the passing lanes and finish above the rim. When it comes to the NBA game, Tokoto will have no problem competing athletically. He can impact the game on defense right away, but his offense has not caught up to his defense. He has the size of a shooting guard, but with one problem; he cannot shoot. His outside shot is broken and it has been holding him back ever since he began playing in college. He is an NBA player without an NBA worthy jump shot. The problem is that he is a liability on offense and in the NBA teams will just sag off of him, forcing him to shoot from the perimeter.
Graphic via ballislife
His shooting woes reared their ugly head in the summer league, where he went 0-10 from three point range. Tokoto did make some plays in the summer league and he finished the last three games playing well after a dreadful 0-7 game, but the offense just was not there. Being in Philadelphia, Tokoto may earn playing time this season. The 76ers are the one of the worst teams in the NBA and will play many of their younger players. He can be effective on a team that likes to run and get out into the break. He is a good rebounder for his position and can run the floor. There is a lot to like about him, but he simply has to improve his jump shot if he wants to stay in the NBA. For now, the best plan for him would be carving out a niche as a defensive stopper.
He has all the tools to be great on that end of the floor and that is a way you can earn a spot on a team. Some players have to be specialist in one area.
Graphic via bleacherreport