Meet the newest member of the Toronto Raptors, Jodie Meeks

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

 The Toronto Raptors signed Jodie Meeks to a 10-day contract. It is a small risk with a potentially large reward.

The Toronto Raptors are gearing up for the playoffs by trying to establish their roster. They needed to get to 14 players after a slew of moves at the trade deadline depleted their lineup. Yesterday, they signed their 14th member of the team, Jodie Meeks. He inked a 10-day contract with the Raptors.

Meeks is a 6’4″ shooting guard who was drafted the same year as DeMar DeRozan. At age 31, he has played 10 seasons for six different franchises in the NBA. For his career, Meeks has averaged 9.3 points, 1.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 22.6 minutes per game.

Meeks has not played a game in the NBA this season. He suited up for 77 contests with the Washington Wizards last season. Before the Wizards met the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, Meeks was handed a 25 game suspension for violating the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. He was caught with a pair of performance-enhancing drugs in his system.

The Raptors are adding a sharpshooter. Meeks has demonstrated that his greatest strength perimeter shooting. He owns a career 37.2-percent shooting average from beyond the arc based on 3.9 attempts per game. This is where the Raptors interests lie. Their struggles for threes have been well documented this season. The team is hoping that Meeks can come off the bench and provide them with some long-range buckets.

Meeks is a one-dimensional player. He is a below average defender, which helps define his role with the team. He will be expected to act as a three-point marksman, taking shots from downtown and guarding as much as possible on the perimeter.

His deficiencies will limit his usage. He is likely to find himself at the end of the bench fighting for minutes with Patrick McCaw and to a lesser extent, Jordan Loyd. For the Raptors, he adds versatility, being a much different player than the rest of their guards.

Thanks to his skillset, opponents will need to respect Meeks’s shooting. This means that defenders are likely to stay close, opening up the floor for his teammates. It also gives Nick Nurse a quick break option against zone defense. Opposing coaches will need to adjust their defensive alignments when Meeks checks into the game.

The Raptors are taking a small risk giving Meeks the opportunity to join the team. Without seeing him in NBA action since April 11, 2018, they are hoping that he is in game shape and can contribute with an immediate impact.

In October, Meeks was traded from the Wiz to the Milwaukee Bucks who waived him a month later. He did not dress for any games with the Bucks but completed his suspension with them.

By giving Meeks a 10-day deal, the Raptors have the opportunity to see how he performs in various situations on the floor and how he fits in the dressing room.

At the conclusion of the 10 days, the Raptors can evaluate whether they want to keep him beyond the month of February. In the meantime, the team still has the flexibility to sign another player should one be waived who has mutual interest with the Raptors.

The Raptors now also have insurance in case of injury. Having the veteran on their roster allows them to breathe a little easier, especially with Fred VanVleet already out of the lineup, recovering from surgery on his left thumb.

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Raps and their fans hope Meeks is a good fit with the team. He is expected to be motivated after an extended departure from basketball. We will get our answer soon as the Raptors next play on Friday when DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs roll into Toronto.