Saturday , Jul , 12 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Relax Toronto Raptor fans: Nathan Jawai is NOT another Hoffa Araujo

Their fear is understandable. Raptor fans want to avoid another Hoffa like homeowners want to avoid lending institutions that default on trillions in mortgages. Living in reality is also important and these two are night-and-day different. Araujo was old, slow, and talent-less, while Jawai is just 21, active, and possesses range and moves …

Relax Toronto Raptor fans: Nathan Jawai is NOT another Hoffa AraujoTeam Euro has hit up another continent for talent. Yesterday, the Toronto Raptors inked 2008 second round pick Nathan Jawai to a two-year contract, making the 6-11, 285 pound post the first indigenous Australian to ever be drafted and signed by an NBA side.

This is news for two reasons. First, as mentioned earlier, Jawai is breaking ground as the first indigenous Aussie to get involved with The Association. Very cool stuff. Second, some Raptor fans fear their newest addition is the reincarnation of super-bust Hoffa Araujo.

You remember Hoffa, right? Marshmallow body. Weak skill-set. At 24 years old, he was drafted by former Toronto GM Rob Babcock eighth overall in 2004, ahead of the explosive Andre Iguodala.

Their fear is understandable. Raptor fans want to avoid another Hoffa like homeowners want to avoid lending institutions that default on trillions in mortgages.

Living in reality is also important and these two are night-and-day different. Araujo was old, slow, and talent-less, while Jawai is just 21, active, and possesses range and moves.

Don’t believe me? Check out Jawai’s rookie season in Australia’s National Basketball League.

Two things jump out at me. First, Jawai dominates the paint- a revolutionary concept in today’s NBA, where posts camp on the perimeter and hoist jump shots. Of course, NBA fours and fives are bigger than those in the NBL, but Jawai should be okay.

Second, I love how he sets picks. Many of Jawai’s points came from setting screens on-and-off the ball. Point guard Jose Calderon could have a field day finding him on pick-and-rolls to the basket or pick-and-pop plays.

Look for the Australian to have a nice career. And Raptor fans won’t curse and think what could’ve been with Iguodala when they watch him. In some respects, without playing a minute in the NBA, Jawai is already far ahead of Araujo.

Boom or bust? What do you think of Toronto signing Jawai? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Image courtesy of  photographer K-Billz’s on-line portfolio.