The Toronto Raptors are officially in panic mode, as seven players (including Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Scottie Barnes) have entered the league’s health and safety protocols. One of the few beneficiaries of this misfortune has been the G League, as dozens of players like Tremont Waters and DJ Wilson are signing NBA contracts.
The Raptors added four new players in the last two days. Speedy backup point guard Brandon Goodwin and LSU alum Waters are scheduled to make the trip to Toronto, as are a Canadian shooting guard in Nik Stauskas and one of OG Anunoby’s old teammates in Juwan Morgan.
With Barnes and Precious Achiuwa landing in the protocol Tuesday afternoon, Toronto now qualified for yet another hardship exemption. The Raptors decided to make one more big man addition, scooping up a former first-round pick to serve as a Band-Aid until the starters get back.
Wilson, who spent most of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks, is signing with Toronto on a 10-day contract, per Shams Charania. The Raptors are likely going to ditch these players when the experienced veterans return, but Wilson might be the most intriguing of the five new additions.
What will DJ Wilson give the Toronto Raptors?
Wilson was picked No. 17 overall in 2017 after a solid college stay at Michigan. However, through both his failure to develop and some impeccable frontcourt depth in Milwaukee, Wilson never averaged more than 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game with the Bucks. A brief stint in Houston last year did little to pump his stock up.
While he never panned out in Milwaukee, his ability to sky to the rim for rebounds and finish putbacks inside might appeal to the Raptors. At 6-10, Wilson is now the tallest player on the roster, which could help him get some looks at the center spot with Siakam and Achiuwa sidelined.
Wilson had spent most of the G League with the Oklahoma City Blue. Wilson averaged 13.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. While his 3-point shooting numbers weren’t great, his career average of 33% in the pros and 34.5% in the G League could help him emerge as a solid threat on pick-and-pop plays.
Wilson might not be a long-term addition to this team when it is all said and done, but he may have some value as a rim-runner and rebounder. While this taxi squad may be viewed by some as just a collection of random replacements, one or two of them may earn a second 10-day if they keep playing well.
Can Wilson start his second act in Toronto?