While it may not be the big move the Toronto Raptors probably need to make, the team did make a move on Friday to address one of its most glaring weaknesses this season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Raptors will sign Joe Wieskamp, who most recently played for the G League’s Wisconsin Herd, to a 10-day contract.
The Toronto Raptors are signing G League G/F Joe Wieskamp to a 10-day contract, his agents Kyle McAlarney and Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tell ESPN. Wieskamp played 29 games with the Spurs a season ago.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 6, 2023
Originally drafted in the second round (41st) of the 2021 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, Wieskamp signed a two-way contract that was eventually converted into a full deal. But he played just 29 games with the Spurs, and was waived ahead of the 2022-23 season.
A 6’6” forward, Wieskamp does one thing really well: shoot the ball from three-point range. He shot 41% from downtown in college, and although that didn’t fully translate into the NBA — just shot just 33% with the Spurs (14-for-43 in those 29 games) — he’s shot the ball well from distance in the G League (37% across this season and last, including 41% in 11 Showcase Cup games this season).
Is that enough to crack Nick Nurse’s roster? Probably not. Wieskamp hasn't made his rep as a defender, to be sure, and that remains top of mind for the Raptors; their schemes are famously (infamously?) hard to master and Nurse has never shown a long leash. (Unless he’s got a soft spot for guys from Iowa??) In any event, it’s a 10-day flyer during a home stand so there’s no better time to give a player a shot, and why not give it to one who addresses such a big need?
Wieskamp has basically delivered as advertised in 28 G League games, A good volume of 3s at a good percentage, strong offensive rebounding, not great defense but enough steal/block activity to be a non-zero. Shot poorly in NBA shot with Spurs but smaller sample.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) January 6, 2023
The Raptors are second last in the league in three-point percentage, and of course, are coming off a historically awful shooting night on Wednesday, where they just 2-for-23, and 0-for-8 from downtown, in the first quarter of their eventual loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
If Wieskamp can hit his shots in whatever opportunity he gets, he’ll be a welcome addition.