The Toronto Raptors weren’t totally done making some additions to the NBA roster after the initial free agent frenzy calmed down. 2021-22 contributors like DJ Wilson remained without a proper NBA contract despite the fact they helped push Toronto towards the postseason.
Wilson was a terrific player at Michigan who was drafted in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2017. After failing to crack the rotation and getting traded to Houston, it seemed like Wilson was never going to stick in the NBA. He has to go to the G League and reinvent his game.
Originally signed away from Oklahoma City’s G League team as a COVID-19 replacement, Wilson was the only one of the four who impressed Nick Nurse enough to earn another 10-day deal when the roster returned to full health. His performance convinced Masai Ujiri to keep him around for the long haul.
Wilson signed a multi-year contract with the Raptors, though the financial terms of this contract have not been revealed yet. Even in a handful of games, Wilson was skilled enough to show that he deserves to be on an NBA roster. Toronto will give him a second chance in the pros.
DJ Wilson is back with the Toronto Raptors.
Wilson averaged 7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in limited action last year. After recording 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and five steals during a loss to Cleveland, Wilson amassed nine points and six rebounds while playing pesky defense against Joel Embiid’s 76ers.
Wilson is likely not going to eat up a ton of minutes, as the continued presence of Khem Birch and the addition of Christian Koloko will be tough to overcome. However, Wilson has shown he can run to the rim and defend at an NBA level, which could make him a valued bench presence.
Wilson’s signing likely means that Yuta Watanabe won’t be back on the roster. Due to the Koloko pick and non-guaranteed deals like that of Dalano Banton and Armoni Brooks, Nurse and Ujiri needed to make a tough call here. They opted for Wilson’s size over Watanabe’s energy.
Even if Wilson is not going to produce like a first-round pick, he was too good for Toronto to discard and risk starring with another team in the Eastern Conference. If called into action, the Raptors should feel comfortable leaning on Wilson at the center position.