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Toronto Raptors

NBA Draft 2019: Who is Sagaba Konate? Fast facts on undrafted free agent signed by the Toronto Raptors.

Sagaba Konate reached an agreement with the Toronto Raptors as an undrafted free agent.
Sagaba Konate reached an agreement with the Toronto Raptors as an undrafted free agent. (Getty Images)

Once the 60 names are called out in the NBA Draft, the real madness begins: the undrafted free agent frenzy.

One of the names that Toronto Raptors fans should ge to know is Sagaba Konate who reportedly reached a deal with the Raptors.

Where did he go to school?

Konate went to West Virginia where he played three years. He played in only eight games last season due to an injury sustained in December which caused him to miss the rest of the season. Originally from Mali, Africa, Konate had 13 siblings and moved to the United States prior to his junior year in high school.

How old is he?

He turned 22 years old in March and only started playing basketball in 2014.

What position does he play

Though he's only 6'8", Konate is a brusing big that has potential as an undersized centre or as a power forward alongside a stretch five.

Prior to going down for the season, Konate established himself as perhaps the best shot blocker in the Big 12, swatting away 7 shots in just 27 minutes in his final game of the season against Florida. He averaged 2.8 blocks per game on the heels of a sophomore season in which he averaged 3.2 blocks per game which ranked second in his conference.

As a sophomore he was named to the All-Big 12 Third Team, Big 12 All-Defensive Team and Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America team.

In a Sports Illustrated feature in the spring of 2018, one of West Virginia's assistant coaches had nothing but glowing praise for the bruising, swash-buckling shot blocker. "I've never seen anybody block two-hand shots like that. I wasn't around with the Bill Russell era. It's one thing to block a guys dunk but to do it with two hands, that's just something you don't see. You know how much confidence you have to have to try and do that? A split second earlier or later and you're getting dunked on. Sags' blocks are at the rim which you rarely see anywhere because guys are always worried about getting dunked on. He's figured out a way to meet guys at that time."

As a junior he showed expanded range. After not attempting a 3-pointer in each of his first two seasons at West Virginia, Konate made 9-23 highlighted by a 5-8 performance from beyond the arc against Valparaiso. He's also a good free throw shooter at 76% for his career which is a good sign for his continued development as a scorer with expanded range.

Will he make the Raptors?

It's far too early to tell, but if there's a team who likes to give undrafted free agents a shot, it's the Toronto Raptors. Most notably, Fred VanVleet was signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 NBA Draft and recently played a starring role off the bench to help the Raptors win the NBA title, even earning a vote for Finals MVP.

Konate's next steps are to impress in Summer League which begins on July 5 in Las Vegas and runs through July 15. Should he do well there, it's possible Konate earns an invite to training camp where he could either make the main club or potentially earn a spot with the Raptors 905 in the G-League. VanVleet isn't the only Raptors player to get his start in the G-League as Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell and Chris Boucher are among the current players to first earn their stripes at the lower level.

Who are the other undrafted free agents?

We've got you covered with our ongoing undrafted free agent tracker which you can find right here.

Check back periodically for updates as teams begin their search for the next diamond in the rough.

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