NBA Odyssey for Greg Stiemsma Goes North of the Border with Raptors
Former Skyforce Center Greg Stiemsma gets another NBA shot, this time with a playoff contender.
After New Orleans cut ties with the 6-11 center before the end of last season, Stiemsma’s pro basketball future was in limbo. On Thursday, it was announced that the Toronto Raptors would bring Stiemsma to training camp.
During the 2013-14 season, the former Wisconsin Badger appeared in 55 games (20 starts) and averaged 2.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1 blocked shot and 18 minutes per game.
Erick Koreen of the Toronto publication National Post has a unique observation on what the signing will mean for Raptors.
The move does little to change the Raptors’ rotation, but could make for an interesting training-camp storyline. The Raptors now have 17 players under contract, including two whose deals could be scrubbed from the payroll rather painlessly: Stiemsma and swingman Jordan Hamilton. The team could also opt to cut third point guard Will Cherry.
The Raptors must get down to 15 players before the start of the regular season, and are close enough to the luxury tax that they cannot afford to cut a player with a more expensive fully guaranteed contract. Therefore, it is likely only one of Cherry, Hamilton or Stiemsma will crack the roster, giving head coach Dwane Casey his choice of position for the final spot.
Stiemsma spent portions of three seasons with the Skyforce before the Boston Celtics signed him during the 2011-12 campaign. His best efforts with the 'Force include Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 and Stiemsma holds the franchise single season record for blocked shots with 162.