The preseason continues tonight in Boston, and we continue our Raptors season preview here with a look at swingman Sonny Weems:
Pay attention, young players without rotation spots — Sonny Weems was once in your shoes. Weems, who came over with Amir Johnson last summer with nothing more than a funny name, made an impression in preseason and turned it into a spot in Jay Triano’s lineup when the Raptors had some early depth issues at the wing positions. Now in his third year in the league and second with Toronto, he’ll be looking to make a bigger impact in what figures to be a bigger role.
Weems’ playing time in 2009-10 was sporadic early but progressed along with the season, and he eventually settled in to average 7.5 points in 19.8 minutes per game over 69 appearances, including 19 starts, after seeing just 55 minutes of action with Denver as a rookie. In 30 games after the all-star break, he averaged 10.0 points and shot 55.9% from the field and finished by averaging 14.1 points in eight April games.
Weems made an impact with stunning athleticism and an impressive mid-range game that improved considerably over the course of the season. He shot 51.5% by taking good shots and not forcing the long ball, which he’s yet to develop in his repertoire (Weems made just 2-of-15 threes in 2009-10). With more minutes and opportunities to score, his numbers should increase this season, especially with an up-tempo attacked geared to his game.
Along with teammate and possible soulmate DeMar DeRozan, Weems was a standout in the Vegas Summer League, averaging 17.1 points over four games. With a more developed all-around game, Weems actually may be better prepared to contribute than DeRozan in 2010-11, though much of the bottom line will be determined by playing time.
2009-10: 69 games (19 starts), 51.5% from the field and 68.8% from the line, 7.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.57 steals in 19.8 minutes per game.
What to expect: Given 25 minutes per night, he should be good for double digit points on very efficient shooting. After working his way from a healthy scratch to steady rotation guy last season, there’s really no limit to the role he could earn this year.