Raptors high on Malachi

Winnipeg Sun - - SPORTS - — Ryan Wolstat

LAS VE­GAS — Toronto has been tak­ing a long look at Malachi Richard­son this sum­mer and they see progress.

Richard­son, 22, was ac­quired from Sacra­mento for Bruno Cabo­clo last sea­son and will be on the ros­ter this sea­son, so the team has been work­ing closely with him.

“The Raptors or­ga­ni­za­tion is so hands-on, from the top to the bot­tom, they re­ally fo­cus on player de­vel­op­ment,” Richard­son ex­plained this week.

“So, it’s been a lot of hands-on, just work­ing with me every day and I’m def­i­nitely ap­pre­cia­tive of that and I just want to keep work­ing, keep get­ting bet­ter.”

Richard­son says he has cut down his body fat and im­proved his game over­all.

A 35% three-point shooter while at Syra­cuse, Richard­son has re­sponded by nail­ing 46% of his at­tempts from be­yond the arc at Sum­mer League.

“He’s got some size and an abil­ity to get shots off and he can make it, that’s a good abil­ity,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said.

“He’s got so much pol­ish around the edges to work on, but, he’s cer­tainly show­ing the will­ing­ness … There’s a dozen, two dozen, three dozen lit­tle parts of the game where he needs pol­ish and we’re go­ing to pol­ish it with him be­cause he’s got the body and the stroke which is not easy to find.”

Richard­son is not much of a de­fender (and you can’t blame the Syra­cuse zone for all of his is­sues there), but the team likes his up­side.

“He’s a guy we fi­nally got our hands on and put into our player de­vel­op­ment and you can see the growth, see the fit into the cul­ture,” Raptors 905 head coach Jama Mahlalela said.

“He’s play­ing harder, giv­ing more ef­fort into the (de­fence), try­ing to be­come a more com­plete player. He’s got some­thing to his game. He’s re­ally in­ter­est­ing to me.”

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