Sonny Weems

Career Stats: 140 GP, 20.3 MPG, 7.7 PPG, 47.4 FG%, 24.1 3PT%, 71.7 FT%, 2.5 RPG, 1.5 APG

Season Stats: 59 GP, 23.9 MPG, 9.2 PPG, 44.4 FG%, 27.9 3PT%, 76.6 FT%, 2.6 RPG, 1.8 APG

Last season, when fans were getting excited about an unknown Sonny Weems, I warned that he could become the next Jamario Moon. Translation, he could be a nice surprise for one season, but he’ll probably start jacking up too many jumpers and forgot what got him here in the first place.

Then Weems got off to a decent start to the 2010-2011 season, drilled a big game-winning three in Orlando and got hot. I let my guard down, as did most Raptors supporters, and actually believed Sonny had played himself into a piece of the Raptors’ future.

How quickly things changed. Weems started to play awful, selfish basketball, then moved in and out of the lineup with injuries. I still thought his play could be saved with a benching or two and a warning, but with Jay Triano at the helm, Weems continued to get his usual gift-wrapped minutes.

A lack of accountability this season seemed to hurt Weems more than any other player (let’s go a post without bringing up Andrea). His selfish ways became habitual, and by the end of the season, one of the Raptors’ potential building blocks had played himself out of the opportunity that he had originally earned.

I’ve written a few blogs on Weems over the last year, so I’m not going to waste much more time on the Arkansas product. I’ll leave it at this: He made the most of an opportunity and earned playing time for a solid season, then blew his opportunity with selfish play. I don’t care how cheap he comes or how close he is with DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems does not deserve to be a part of this rebuild.

Shrewd decisions are going to have to be made during this process, and this is one of them.

Scott Carefoot’s take on Sonny Weems: As much as many Raptors fans like to dump on Andrea Bargnani, the problem with Andrea wasn’t so much that he fell off this season as he didn’t improve on his weaknesses. Sonny Weems, on the other hand, fell off to an extent that he cost himself millions of dollars on his next NBA contract. Sonny’s Hoopdata numbers don’t really back up the perception that he settled for more jumpers this season — 59.3 percent of his field goal attempts came from 10 feet or beyond this season compared to 60 percent in 2009-10 — but the problem was that he didn’t convert them with the same efficiency in 2010-11. I think Weems can make it as a ninth or 10th man in this league, but a lack of basketball IQ is probably going to prevent him from ever becoming more than that.

Julian Wright

Career Stats: 231 GP, 13.2 MPG, 3.9 PPG, 49.9 FG%, 26.2 3PT%, 58.4 FT%, 2.3 RPG, 0.8 APG

Season Stats: 52 GP, 14.7 MPG, 3.6 PPG, 51.2 FG%, 20 3PT%, 51.2 FT%, 2.3 RPG, 1.1 APG

Julian Wright is the type of player that most teams would like at the end of their bench. He knows his role and usually sticks to it, plus he’s the kind of guy you can give minutes to when you’re trying to send a higher profile player a message on the bench. In the midst of a 60-loss season, Wright should have been given ample playing time, but for whatever reason, it just didn’t work out that way.

It’s hard to find many complaints with Julian’s game. Sure, he’s not a very good shooter, but he usually makes the right decisions on offence and plays within himself, so his field goal percentage is still going to be around 50 per cent. In addition, he’s an impressive passer for his size and position, and usually looks to share the ball rather than chuck it up himself (unlike the other player evaluated in this post).

On top of that smart offensive game is an above-average NBA defender who always seems locked in on his own end of the floor. For a team that was often laughable on the glass (without Reggie Evans), Wright was one of the few Raptors who actually tried to collect a rebound before running up the floor. To keep a long story short, Julian Wright may not be anything close to a star player, but he sure as heck plays the game the right way.

Despite all of these positive attributes, and despite the fact that the team had a huge hole at the small forward position for most of the season, Wright still wasn’t given much time. Then, of course, came the infamous incident in Orlando, when Wright reportedly refused to check into the ball game in a Magic blowout.

I’ll be honest. I flat out liked Julian’s game and called for him to get extra minutes all season long. In a miserable season, before James Johnson showed up, what did Triano and the Raps really have to lose? I can understand why Julian, one of the few Raptors who put in an honest effort on the defensive end, would be frustrated and fed up with the fact that it took a humiliating blowout for Triano to call his name. But that does not excuse his actions on that Friday night in Florida, and for those actions, Julian should not be forgiven.

You’re a professional athlete whose job is to be ready to play, no matter the situation. You earn millions of dollars to play basketball, and regardless of how hard you played in a lost season up to that point, by refusing to go in because you were frustrated or insulted or whatever the case was, is still a travesty. It’s a slap in the face to your teammates, to those in the D-League, Europe or any lower level ballers who would give anything for a job in the NBA, and a slap in the face to the paying customers.

So yes, I like what Julian Wright brings to the table off of the bench, and he seems like a good enough guy outside of this isolated incident. But for me, refusing to go in (unless you’re injured) is like a deadly sin for a professional athlete, and so I’ll understand when Wright is not back next season.

Scott Carefoot’s take on Julian Wright: Four seasons into Julian Wright’s career, we’ve really seen no progression in his game. He’s a good passer for his position and a disruptive defender, but he can’t shoot worth a damn and it seems like he might be more interested in his off-court hobbies than his basketball career. I get the sense that this is just a job for him, and that might have as much to do with why Triano didn’t use him much as anything else. He’s an NBA-caliber player, without question. But if you sign him this off-season, don’t let the fact that he’s still just 24 years old trick you into expecting him to improve. Once he gets the security of that next contract, I’ll be very surprised if he puts in the work to become a more well-rounded baller.

After a month of posts and 15 player reviews, the 2010-2011 Toronto Raptors player evaluations have come to an end. If you missed any of them, here’s my quick summary of who I’d keep and who I’d say good riddance to from the past season.

I don’t think anyone on this roster is untouchable, but I do believe that DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis should be the closest things to it. You can build something with those two youngsters going forward.

Jerryd Bayless, Amir Johnson and James Johnson are players that I would like to keep around for the rebuild, but that I could understand parting ways with.

I believe it is finally time to part ways with Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, though I might be able to bear one more season with Andrea if someone can light a fire under his butt.

Leandro Barbosa, Joey Dorsey and Julian Wright are all players I think can make an impact in different situations, but again, I’m not putting any stock in their futures with the Raptors. All three could be gone tomorrow and I would probably be able to get way with not even blogging about their departures.

Reggie Evans is probably going to be too expensive and too injury-plagued to be worth more than Joey Dorsey, so I don’t really see a point in bringing him back, unless you play the “leadership” card.

We didn’t see enough of Solomon Alabi to make any educated predictions on his future, but I’d be willing to bet there isn’t much there.

That leaves Sonny Weems, Linas Kleiza and Alexis Ajinca in the “good riddance” category, which means I don’t have to waste another word on them, and the Raptors shouldn’t waste another game on them, though it will be tough to rid themselves of Kleiza’s contract.

So there you have it. Now let’s focus on the draft.

Comments (14)

  1. I would like to see Dorsey back, especially since it looks as though we will have a defensive minded coach next year. I think he will earn his way into the starting line-up by the start of the season. If not, he will provide valuable minutes off of the bench.

    This team has a lot of rebuilding to do, and it starts with teaching our current players the right way to play the game. Thank God Triano is gone and one of Frank or Casey will be doing the teaching. There is no reason we couldn’t become a .500 team next year in this weak eastern conference. Go Raps.

  2. I think you’re a bit off on Wright.

    Despite not knowing anything about his personal life or work ethic, I appreciate the fact that he stood up to Triano’s BS, and basically slapped the management of the team in the face.

    He could have shut his mouth and jumped at the opportunity to play. That would have been the politically correct or moralistic move. However, if certain players are allowed to give lackluster efforts night in, night out, other players should also be allowed to flat out refuse to come in to the game.

    There needed to be accountability with everyone. Was it upper management’s mandate to keep certain players on the floor? Maybe Jay simply did not know how to walk the fine line between disciplinarian and friend. Perhaps he was worried about what might happen if he were to make a coaching decision based on poor effort that might displease Colangelo.

    It’s hard to tell, but the bottom line is that he clearly didn’t have the backbone to handle this situation.I felt Wright shed light on this pathetic situation, whether it was a thought out plan or not. I think he deserves a pass for that, if not a pat on the back.

  3. totally disagree with you about sonny! Management plays him out of position at sf at 6ft 3.5 inches in bear feet and 200lbs at best. why? to play demar at 6ft 7in 215lbs and growing at sg even tho his game both offensively and defencely is clearly more suited as a sf and that is where he will sooner rather than later make his living. demar’s offensive game is midrange driving and initiating contact and finishing around the rim. that is a sf offensive game! he lacks range from the 3pt line especially from out top which is sg’s game. he lacks lateral quickness to gaurd most sg’s in the league but not most sfs! arguably this management decision helped demar offensively using his size but made him a one demensional player! Then all backup mins at sg was barbosa’s. None for sonny! He is a sg not a small forward! Sonny’s nba asset is his speed 2.95 one of the fastest in draft combine history was completely negated by putting him under the basket against vastly bigger opponents and asking him to block out and rebound as far away from our basket as is possible. Remember sonny’s quick strike ability when playing on the perimiter! He was devistating! all taken away. He is natural scorer not my words but jay’s yet he is put in the corner while the ball is dominated by jose, andrea, barbosa and if he gets a touch it at the end of the shot clock and he must force up a shot. This is what you call sefishness! remember it was this exact role that hedo and later linas rebelled against but sonny was in no position to object let alone rebell! sonny’s shooting percentage suffered because he had his quick strike ability taken away and the type of shots he was forced to take at end of the shot clock. further shooting is a matter of confidence and if he missed one he better not take another for fear of missing two in a row. whereas demar could miss 5 in a row and be encourged to keep shooting! the same for andrea! That was management’s plan! it was and is a loser! It devides the team into the chosen and those designated to only do the dirty work regardless of merit! It is in my opinion why the raps are a perrinal loser at least under colangelo! It is a racist apartide system with one african american exception as cover! with the departure of bosh that role was desinated to demar! with the complicity of long time “good old boys” such as yourself and doug smith the cover has been maintained at least in the local media! but make no mistake about it the toronto “racists” is well known thru-out the league especially amount african american players and their agents! remember hedo’s comment ” there is something wrong with that francise and everyone knows it” the racist italian mob under colangelo has greatly stained this francise and you have played a major role as facilatator! You and holly are suck polar opposites. why is it that she gets interviews with the african american players and they shun you? Why is it that NO african america player will deal with colangelo as free agents? why is it that african american players leave this racist cesspool at the earlyist opportunity? your cover reverse racisim against canada and toronto one of the most diverse and beautifull not just in the nba but the world! crap! sooner rather than later the colangelo racist era will be cosigned the garbage bin of history where it belongs and coconspirators like you and doug smith will have to change your stripes or suffer the same fate!

  4. Thank you omar
    You took a lot of Words to defend Weems and I agree
    Triano misused him and ten injuries disrupted his game
    In rare occasions Weems was assigned to defend star PG or SG and he delivered tough D

    Knocks on Demar were not necessary tho

    FWIW heres a list in order of who i rather keep if possible. Barnani earns last place just cause.

    Demar
    Amir
    Davis
    Barbosa
    Calderon
    JJ
    Wright
    Weems
    Bayless
    Kleiza
    Ajinca
    Dorsey
    Evans
    Alabi
    Bargnani

  5. thank you alec. point of clarifacation it was and is not my intention to “knock” demar! he is one of my favorite players. My point about demar is that he is also being played out of position resulting in a one dementional player similar to how management went about developing andrea! this is not in my opinion good for demar and certainly not the team.It is the fundamental fatal error of the colangolo era that offense is all that matters in his quest to develop a “star” player.It has led andrea down a deadend path and ran the organiztion into a ditch! colangelo is leading demar down the same path! It is not good for the organiztion the team and certainly not for demar! just as it has proven detrimental to andrea! sam mitchell was right colangelo IS wrong! No knock intended on demar!!

  6. In the event that “omar” wasn’t being sarcastic or something, I must congratulate him for writing the craziest, most incoherent internet comment I have ever seen. That thing should be put in a straightjacket. I can’t even pick out my favourite crazy bit, the whole thing was fucking nuts, like it was channeled from another planet nuts.

    It’s too bad about Wright. On the one hand, everything I’ve read about him says that he worked as hard as anyone in practice. But I think Scott’s right. The guy just doesn’t love the game enough and it’s hard to have any faith that he can improve things like his jump shot. He still should have played more this season and I’ll always have a soft spot for a guy who can drop some sweet dimes.

  7. 1st off both Calderon aka ‘PG Controversy’ & Bargnani aka ‘Mr Sometimes I Get Lazy’ need to get the fuck out of the TDot- 1 way trip non stop.

    2 freakin’ double doubles on the season from Barg’s (1 in OT in London) plus Ed out rebounded him playing far less total overall game minutes- wtf is going on?

    Jose assists totals, which apologist like to point to, are meaningless when he isn’t even a threat to score on offense not to even mention his clap aka Gonorrhea defense- I got an assist for Jose – see ya!!

    The 2 longest tenured Raptor players under BC need to go as the exemplify what is wrong with the Rap’s- lack of defense, plus they carry too much bad karma with them as Raptor players.

    2ndly before my 3 keepers -Amir, Ed or DD is potentially traded away both of the above mentioned Raptors- Jose & Andrea, need to go!

    3rdly the Rap’s need to bring back Joey Dorsey aka Ben Grimm, Money Weems, JuJu Wright & Barbosa as bench support.

    4thly- Ajinca, Kleiza, Alabi need to be cut loose somehow, someway. Kleiza may be a potential amnesty buyout but I see no role for him moving forward as a slow moving combo bench forward. Ajinca is Bargnani Light and Alabi is less than POB.

    That being said Weems is a keeper as the back up SG.

    He was forced to play out of position at SF alot as he gives away too much size in most matchups with other NBA SFs to play more than a few minutes at SF.

    With the right coaching, system & accountability in place I can see Weems thriving once he knows & better understands his role going forward.

    We don’t know if Jay told Sonny to shoot the ball more or if Sonny was trying to do too much in a contract year before injuries took hold of his season due in part the the Raptors training staff not making the players stretch before activities which is basketball 101 from youth leagues to the NBA- stretch out, warm up before you hit the basketball court to help avoid injuries.

    I would also keep JWright a back up Wing as he’s a good teammate in the locker room & off the court.

    I respect the brother for not going into a 40 point blowout game at GS not Orlando in the 2nd half after Jay left him on the bench the whole 1st half despite working with a short roster.

    Alot of the players supported JWright, who did apologize for his actions, behind the scenes.

    Raptors needed wing defense this past season and it was sitting on the bench but BC & Jay aka Dumb & Dumber played contracts over talent- once again more often than not.

    Btw- there is no ‘rebuild’ that was just another BC pr media spin on the Rap’s losing alot of games and didn’t manifest itself until January- recognize.

    Now it’s a new ‘Winning Plan’ that BC is operating under as per Peddie.

    What is BC’s new ‘Winnig Plan’? Anyone?

    @ Dribbles

    Wright doesn’t love the game? How did you come up with that bullchit?

    Just because his jumper won’t improve dramatically?

    Maybe he just isn’t a good shooter no matter how much he practices shooting?

    There’s more to basketball than being able to shoot the ball someone has to defend, hustle, pass and so forth- step up your basketball IQ ASAP.

  8. Seems like every post ends up with Bargs in some form or another. The fringe guy’s like Weems, Wright and Dorsey are really not a big concern during this rebuild.

    If we can come up with a defensive minded center and small forward I think AB will be fine as our power forward. Maybe they can flip Jose & another player to fill a hole? If not once the new CBA is completed we’ll see what is doable under the new guidlines.

  9. Bargnani needs to go… why would anyone possibly want to keep Amir and Ed on the bench? This is rebuilding, not recrapping. Time for Bargs to pull his il Mago act and disappear.

    Wright got a raw deal. Dude deserved minutes at SF before anyone else until James Johnson got here. Then Triano has the stones to embarass the guy? So its cool that the ‘unaccountables’ can build a 30 point hole…and god forbid you try to change things, get some energy going and play some, whats that thing called? Oh yeah defense…… but when you have no chance then you look to Julian Wright? Wright should have headbutted Jay and pissed on his unconcious body.

    When leadership plays favorites, they are bound to marginalize others… thats what happened here. First with Julian Wright then, ironically enough, Jay Triano. If any of you guys had this happen to you at your job (ie. you work hard, get an opportunity and shine. Make a ton of money for your company for a shitty pay cheque, then get passed over because some d-bag was wearing a shirt the boss like… who only then proceeds to give you a promotion when that same d-bag stops coming in to work after having almost driven the company into the ground) you’d tell your boss off to. Don’t act like Julian should somehow be above any of you. The dude bounces a ball for a living.

  10. I don’t think AB staying would have a drastic effect on either Amir or Davis … every decent team has a solid rotation of bigs also, now that they are moving ahead with a defensive system & coach AB willhave no choice but to adapt.

    Don’t get me wrong I like both young players although, Amir is still foul prone and Davis has only played 1/2 a seson so he’s not proven just yet.

    If AB doesn’t pan out as the Power Forward you could move him at the trade dead line or next off season there are not many bigs that can score 20 pts so there should be a taker.

  11. @ CB4 NOT

    You don’t think AB staying- if BC doesn’t trade him, in the TDot will not have a drastic effect on Ed nor Amir?

    Don’t all 3 play PF?lol

    You are str8 up stuck on stupid if you want to go forward with Bargnani on the roster as Amir or Ed would have to be moved since the 7 foot 250 pound AB isn’t a center.smdh

    Davis has proven that he can get double doubles on the regular when given starters minutes- can Bargnani?

    Amir can hit a game winning shot- can Bargnani?

    Bargnani won’t even dive on the floor for loose balls as does both Ed & Amir- I guess The Pope aka King Barg’s feels that is beneath him ie to hustle hard.

    AB has been playing PF when he was paired with CB and when paired with Amir/Ed/Joey/Reggie/Ajinca for the most part as they would guard the other team’s center while AB floats on both offense and defense.

    As a PF AB will still have to rotate, rebound, play defense, hustle plus he loses his speed advantage that he holds against most centers as a PF.

    Fyi- Bargnani average 21 ppg on 17.8 shot attempts per game (CB never averaged that many shots a game as a Raptor) while shooting a lackluster 44% from the field- do the math.

    As a basketball player Bargnani is like a pretty girl with HIV- good to look at but I wouldn’t touch his lethargic enigma ass with a ten foot pole after the past 5 years in the TDot.

    His Raptors days should be done trade him for RFelton straight up once his BYC contract tag expires on June 30th.

  12. Honestly with your writing and vocabulary skills questioning a person’s intelligence is not some thing you should do often.

    Realistically with the new defensive ‘system’ in place AB will likely see a lot of time on the bench therefore, Amir and Davis will have plenty of minutes between them. Although, if AB can adapt to the new system and contribute on the defensive end he will be more valuable to the team. I understand the fact that this is a very big if and not likely to happen next season.

    The big question mark remains as to how BC builds this team via the draft, trades and free agency. If he is able to acquire the right type of small forward & center then I agree with Scott, keep AB around to see how everything unfolds.

    Bottom line is quality NBA players are not lining up to sign with our team or stay for the long term so replacing his 20 pts will be difficult.

  13. Well taken, teacher.lmfao@u

    Any people that are saying, suggesting keeping AB around in the TDot after the past 5 years are stuck on stupid rewind it, loop it & shoop-shoop it.smdh

    Why would any Rap’s fans even want to watch this lethargic half ass playing 7 foot 250 pound PF in a Rap’s uniform another season is beyond me.

    I’d rather watch Ed & Amir man the PF spot for the Rap’s and sign or trade for someone like Dalembert, Kaman, Okafor or DJordan to man the center position next to them in a 3 man big rotation.

    You can’t call a ‘rebuild’ until you trade away the 2 current longest tenured Raptors- Jose & Andrea, before that everything else is just the same ol’ same- BC pr spins in the wind.

    Bargnani, Barbosa & Alabi for RFelton, WChandler (S&T) & Nuggets 2011 1st round pick (#22).

    Jose for LRidnour & Pekovic.

    Once again, AB’s ’21 ppg’ came on ’17.8 shots per game’ – do the math, buddy- he’s not irreplaceable, especially his 5 rebounds per game & effortless defensive hustle game.lmfao

  14. You were close to completing some of your thoughts in English with your last post. Well Done.

    I’ll leave you with a couple points to think about. Many published medical papers have been completed by psychiatrists on individuals who routinely exhibit this type of behavior online. Unprovoked verbal attacks, aggression and incoherent thoughts are a direct result of being raised in a broken home, abuse or addiction. These individuals often have a difficult time functioning in social settings and discussing ideas with others.

    Let’s see hoe you choose to move forward. I do not have any faith in your ability to prove me wrong.

    Go Raps Go! With or with AB :)

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