Svi Mykhailiuk signs two-year deal with Toronto Raptors

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A former KU basketball wing has his next contract at the NBA level. On Saturday evening, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, part of Kansas’ Final Four team in 2018, has “agreed to a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors. 

Svi Mykhailiuk’s deal includes a player option in the second season,” Charania wrote on Twitter. “Several contenders expressed interest in the sharpshooting wing before he reached [the] agreement with the Raptors.”

Charania cited Mykhailiuk’s agency, SIG Sports, in reporting the news. Mykhailiuk last played for the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

It’s been a modest start to Mykhailiuk’s NBA career thus far. After being selected in the second round of the draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Mykhailiuk averaged only 10.8 minutes per game in 39 contests (0 starts) before being traded to the Detroit Pistons. 

Mykhailiuk’s first full season with the Pistons gave him his first starting experience. In 2019-20, while KU was putting together a season that culminated in an end-of-year No. 1 ranking, Mykhailiuk was starting 27 games for the Pistons. He appeared in 56 contests, averaging 22.6 minutes per game. He averaged 9.0 points per contest while shooting 40.4 percent from 3. 

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The next year, Mykhailiuk spent time with the Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder. With the former, he played in 36 games and logged five starts. With the latter, he appeared in 30 contests, averaging a career-best 23.0 minutes per game and making nine starts. 

Through three seasons, Mykhailiuk has 55 performances scoring in double-figures (164 games) and 74 games with multiple made 3s. His top-career scoring performance was a 25-point outing in a win over Atlanta. His other 20-point efforts have included a 22-point, nine rebound outing in a win over Toronto and a 20-point, nine-rebound, four-assist outing in a loss to Indiana, both with the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Of course, the swingman from Ukraine was a much larger fixture of the offense when in college, particularly in his senior season. Mykhailiuk averaged 14.6 points as a senior, setting the Kansas 3-point record with 115 makes in 39 games. 

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In fact, it was a game in his senior season — the Elite Eight contest against Duke — that may have put him on the radar of at least one NBA team.

Magic Johnson, at the time the President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, shared a phone call with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka after that Elite Eight contest. In that game, Mykhailiuk was asked to guard a much bigger Marvin Bagley and won the individual matchup. 

“[Johnson] called and said, ‘That showed me a lot about him,’” Pelinka recalled at Mykhailiuk’s introductory press conference. ‘His toughness, his mentality.’”