With guys like Kenyon Martin, Wilson Chandler and other bigger name players becoming available as the European basketball season comes to a close, Sonny Weems has kind of flown under the radar. Most NBA fans probably don’t know much about Weems, and most Raptors fans probably forgot what he was doing.
The Raptors did tender a qualifying offer at the end of last season, making Weems a restricted free agent, but with his team (Zalgiris Kaunas) on the brink of elimination in Europe, we still haven’t heard much about Weems from anyone within the Raptors organization.
Apparently, Weems hasn’t heard much either. Here’s what he had to say in his latest blog entry for Hoops Hype:
“Some people ask me about the Raptors. Well, Toronto is not my team. They don’t mention me in their future plans or anything like that. A couple other NBA teams are really interested in me and that’s what I’m looking for. I’m not just focused on Toronto because you read articles about the team and my name never comes up. I’ll just focus on finishing this season and find the best possible team. I have some overseas teams also interested, but my main goal is going back to the NBA. If it’s not possible, I’ll stay in Europe.
It’s still all up in the air.”
Here’s my reaction to this, and the reaction that all Raptors fans should share: “good riddance.”
Weems had a nice run in Toronto in 2009-2010, working his way from an end of the bench afterthought to a solid rotation guy for a 40-win team that came within a game of a playoff spot. He carried that over into an impressive start to last season, but quickly erased anything he had accomplished with selfish, uninspiring play. As I’ve said before, Weems became Jamario Moon 2.0. In short, he played his way out of a role in Toronto by forgetting what got him minutes in the first place – hard work, defence and knowing his role.
By the end of the 2010-2011 season, Weems had become a chucker, and was incredibly frustrating to watch.
Based on my math, in 34 games with Zalgiris across Lithuanian League, United League and Euroleague ball, Weems is averaging 12.5 points in just under 27 minutes per game, shooting about 50 per cent on two-pointers and 35 per cent on three-point attempts. He’s also averaging 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals, but is committing 2.5 turnovers per game compared to just 1.4 assists.
In general, his numbers in Europe have been decent, but far from impressive for a 25-year-old who has played parts of three seasons in the NBA. This leads me to believe that Weems’ game hasn’t evolved much, if at all. And if that’s the case, I don’t blame the Raptors for not considering him in their future plans.
They already had a good look at Weems, and in my opinion, he didn’t do enough to warrant another look.
As currently constructed, there are at least eight players I’d rather have than Sonny Weems (which isn’t saying much) that already belong to the Raptors (Valanciunas, Bargnani, DeRozan, Davis, James Johnson, Amir Johnson, Bayless, Kleiza) and that’s not including veterans like Jose Calderon and Leandro Barbosa. What would be the point of bringing Weems back to be, at best, the ninth or 10th most important piece of the future puzzle?
Exactly, there isn’t one.