Name: J.P. Tokoto
College: University of North Carolina
- Height: 6’6’’
- Weight: 200 lbs
- Wingspan: 6’10’’
Statistics (2014-15 season): 8.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 2.2 TPG, .428 FG%
Advanced Statistics (2014-15 season): .48 TS%, .24 TO/Pos, 98.1 DRTG, 8.6 BPM
NBA Comparison: Terrence Williams
- Athleticism: Tokoto is a freak athlete who will make highlight plays for whatever team he joins in the NBA. This attribute also allows him to have the potential to be a strong defensive presence in the near future.
- Defensive Upside: With the athleticism and energy that Tokoto brings to the table, he has the chance to be a fantastic defensive player. He can guard multiple positions because of his height and wingspan allowing him to be a really versatile defender. However, he still has a ways to go to before he is the defensive stopper of the future.
- All-Around Player: Tokoto can do everything. He is a good rebounder, passer, defender, and so much more. The Wisconsin native is a stat stuffer.
- Role Player Potential: Down the road, Tokoto could prove to be a fantastic role player. His well rounded play could turn him into a vital side piece to the Sixers’ brightfuture, similar to the role Andre Iguodala took on the Warriors. However it does seem like he left college because he was and always would be a role player beside Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson, and a mess of other more talented players. He wanted a bigger role than that, but will he really get that in the NBA? If Tokoto can accept himself as a role player he could be a great addition.
- Jump Shot: It is no secret that Tokoto struggles with his jump shot. He shot 42% from the field this season and only made 21 threes his entire career. He also had a true shooting percentage of 48% this year, which was not nearly as high as one would like to see.
- Decision Making: Tokoto was often caught during games taking ill advised shots or turning the ball over (2.2 TPG). These mistakes were usually because the 6’6 guard would get out of control, which forced him to take bad shots. This was one of his major problems with the Heels.
- Focus and Gel Factor: It was rumored during the year that Tokoto lacked the proper focus and it affected the moral of the team. Andrew Carter, a reporter who often wrote about the Tar Heels for the Carolina News and Observer tweeted, “There were times this season when you could sense the chemistry between Tokoto, others might have been … a bit off. Didn’t seem happy.” It is not confirmed that he was the problem of tension in the locker room, but at times Tokoto did seem detached. During one point in the season, Paige even called out some teammates for not playing their hardest and one can’t but wonder if he was talking about his fellow junior from Wisconsin. Lastly, Tokoto also would disappear from games (only 1 point against Virginia and 4 against Wisconsin) and was benched during the middle of the season. All of this makes me question his ultimate focus and commitment to the team.
- Buy In: “I feel like there can be a lot more to me as a player, more than just the defensive player who can occasionally dunk the ball,” Tokoto said to Yahoo Sports. “I know I can be so much more” This makes me question his commitment to the team. If the Sixers don’t use him the way he “likes”, is he just going to just ask for a trade? I like the fact that his distaste for his role at UNC is motivating him to work harder, but that quote worries me. This is because I honestly don’t think he’ll ever more than a role player. If he can’t get past his ego and accept that, it could be a bumpy road for him in the NBA. All in all, the Sixers need him to buy into his role and notice him limitations as a player, which I don’t think he always saw at Carolina.
Good or Bad Pick?
This is a great pick for the Sixers. In the second round, NBA teams are looking for those diamonds in the rough. However it is really hard to find those kinds of guys. But Tokoto has the chance to be one of those types. His ceiling is really high and he has the potential to be a strong NBA player thanks to his crazy athleticism. But he has a lonnnnnggggggggggg way to go. His shot needs major work. His head needs to be screwed on straight. Despite the talk of his defensive strength I don’t think he always performed well on that end against the best competition. However if he can get those things (and more) together, Tokoto could see himself as a skinnier Andre Iguodala. I can’t wait to see how he develops as the Sixers become a championship contender team.
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com