Mar 19, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) battles for the ball with New Orleans Pelicans center Greg Stiemsma (34) during the second quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Raps sign Greg Stiemsma - earth, stop shaking

Apr 4, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; New Orleans Pelicans center Greg Stiemsma (34) and forward Tyreke Evans (1) box out Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz won 100-96. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

As you know, faithful members of Rapture Nation, I pushed for the Toronto Raptors to extend a training-camp invitation to Hasheem Thabeet. That didn’t happen; instead, Masai Ujiri signed another journeyman, Greg Stiemsma. While I dry my tears about not adding Thabeet (kidding!), I’ll walk through an analysis of our new man for you.

Greg is the prototype of a backup centre. He’s 6’11, and 260 lbs., and played 4 years at Wisconsin. He then joined the D-League, enjoying(?) 3 years in Sioux Falls. In his second season there, he played in 48 games and averaged over 28 minutes Per Game [PG] of floor time, yet managed 3.8 points PG. That’s flabbergasting – I’m amazed he wasn’t cut.

Greg is a tribute to determination, I suppose. He didn’t make the NBA until he was 26 years old, and has played for 3 teams in as many years. His stats are underwhelming, and that’s being kind. You’re welcome to peruse them. I’ve seen him play enough times to offer this synopsis:

  • he moves well for a big man, BUT he has no vertical game
  • he’s not physical, so low-post scorers will give him serious trouble
  • he fouls too much
  • he can block shots
  • if he has offensive capability, he’s kept it under serious wraps to date

In other words, as Bob McCown would say, he’s just a guy. Greg will score a basket a game, by accident. I’m searching for a positive here, so how about this – since Greg has never been a star, he’s most unlikely to be grumpy if he doesn’t play much, or at all. If he’s smart, and I suspect he is, he’ll be the best locker room guy possible. In fact, he may be in a better situation than he realizes. If the Raptors have the kind of season we expect them to, Greg may get a whack of minutes in garbage time. Teams like Philadelphia, Milwaukee and the Lakers are likely to be terrible, and there are a bunch of teams who are likely to have dreary seasons as well. Our starters, including Jonas Valanciunas, may be sitting down for entire fourth quarters.

Anyway, he’s on board, so we have our insurance policy at centre. Greg Stiemsma fans, let’s hear from you in the Comments.

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