While a nation continues to sit pensively and wait for the details of the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade, the Raptors continue to fill out the back end of their roster ahead of Summer League and training camp.
Today, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that they’re signing 26-year-old Ishmail Wainright — who most recently played with SIG Strasbourg in France — to a two-year deal.
Free agent F Ishmail Wainright has agreed to a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors, his agents Deirunas Visockas and Jim Tanner of @_tandemse tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 5, 2021
As first observed by The Athletic’s Blake Murphy, this deal has the hallmarks of a partially-guaranteed contract, similar to the one-handed to another Baylor Bears product last season: Freddie Gillespie. It gets Wainright into the system to compete for a roster spot, without much risk on the organizational side.
Wainright is a 6’5”, 250-pound undersized power forward, who has shown potential to be a defensive stalwart at that position. While able to score, he hasn’t been lights out — in France he averaged 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. He’s had standout moments with the Ugandan national team, though, including this monster 36-point, 13-rebound game against Cape Verde. Cue the YouTube highlight reel!
It’s no surprise to anyone that a player with Wainright’s skillset is getting an opportunity with the Raptors — this appears to be the franchise where defense-first players get their big chance. If Wainright polishes up on the offensive end, he could be on the roster come October. If not, there’s little downside to taking a flyer on a player of his physical calibre and maturity.