Konate Reportedly Signs With Toronto
Sagaba Kontate is apparently going to get his first pro basketball opportunity with the defending NBA champions.
The former Mountaineer forward, who was not selected in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, is going to sign a free agent contract with the Toronto Raptors, according to a report by The Athletic’s Michael Scotto.
The Toronto Raptors have agreed to a deal with Sagaba Konate (West Virginia), a league source told @TheAthleticNBA.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) June 21, 2019
Having played in only eight games this past season as a junior at West Virginia because a knee injury, the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Konate’s draft stock never seemed very high this year. Still, the Bamako, Mali, native was intent on staying in the NBA Draft pool and forfeiting his remaining college eligibility.
Thursday saw 60 players selected in the NBA’s two-round draft. Included were four Big 12 players – Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, No. 6 in the first round to Phoenix; Texas’ Jaxson Hayes, No. 8 in the first round to Atlanta; Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker, No. 16 in the second round to Orlando; and Iowa State’s Marial Shayok, No. 24 in the second round to Philadelphia – but Konate was not among them.
As a rookie free agent, Konate will likely receive a contract that does not provide him a guaranteed salary unless he makes the Raptor’ 15-man roster. He also will have a chance to make the Raptors’ G-League team, which is the Raptors 905 and is located in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, Ontario. Konate could bypass the G League and sign with an overseas professional team. He would almost certainly make more money playing overseas than the G League, where the base salary for the five-month season is $35,000. But G League players have the ability to be called up to NBA teams in the middle of the season, while those who play overseas don’t have the option to move to the NBA until their contract ends.
Konate scored 650 points and grabbed 443 rebounds in his time at West Virginia, which lasted two seasons plus eight games. Despite being limited to 81 career games, he did set WVU’s all-time blocked shot record with 191.
Sagaba is expected to play for the Raptors’ summer league team, which will play games in Las Vegas from July 5-15.