The 2020-21 regular season is in the books for the Trail Blazers and the 2021 NBA Draft is only days away. For the first time since 2016, the Blazers are set to enter draft night without a selection. However, that doesn’t mean that President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey will sit on the sidelines during the process.
Today’s profile looks at Iowa wing Joe Wieskamp. Over the course of his three-year run with the Hawkeyes, Wieskamp blossomed into one of the best three-point shooters in the country.
- Height: 6’7”
- WT: 205
- Wingspan: 6’11”
- Shooting Hand: Right
- Position: G/F
- Age: 21
- Projected draft range: 30-42
- PTS: 14.8 | Per 40: 20.3
- REB: 6.6 | Per 40: 9.1
- AST: 1.7 | Per 40: 2.3
- FG%: 49.1
- 3P%: 46.2
- FT%: 67.7
Wieskamp’s shooting skill set is an ideal fit for the modern NBA. As a catch-and-shoot operator, his efficiency ranks at the top of the entire 2021 class. Wieskamp utilizes a textbook shot form that features a high release point that obliterates defenses that forget about him. He moves with purpose without the ball around screens. When the ball does arrive, Wieskamp quickly gets into his motion and he can shoot off balance effectively when needed. He also creates for himself off the dribble from beyond the arc. Wieskamp possesses a useful pull-up jumper that keeps defenders off balance.
Physically, Wieskamp has ideal height and length for a NBA shooting guard. At the 2021 NBA Draft Combine, Wieskamp’s athletic testing ranked at the top of several categories.
Regardless of his favorable testing at the combine, Wieskamp’s tape does not jump off the screen when it comes to burst. He lacks creativity and polish as a downhill attacker. Inside the arc, Wieskamp does not get to the free throw line for a player of his size and usage rate. Speaking of the free throw line, Wieskamp’s numbers from the charity stripe trended sharply in the wrong direction during his final season with the Hawkeyes.
Defensively, Wieskamp can get caught out of position in one-on-one matchups and in team-based sets. He lacks the bulk to step into a true small forward spot at the next level. His current size could limit his effectiveness when battling for rebounds as well.
Wieskamp made a splash early in his college career by making the 2018-19 Big Ten All-Freshman team. Looking back, that squad of Big Ten youngsters is impressive. Suns forward Jalen Smith, Magic wing Ignas Brazdeikis, Celtics guard Romeo Langford and current draft prospect Ayo Dosunmu joined Wieskamp inside that group.
Last season, Wieskamp increased his three-point shooting volume and efficiency. He recorded 16 points in a victory over Grand Canyon is the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. In the second round, he notched 17 points in a loss to Oregon.
Wieskamp is more than just a stationary floor spacer. In the NBA, he has the potential to disrupt defenses with crisp off-ball movements. His upside increases significantly if he unlocks his speed and agility at the next level, which could happen in an NBA offense. Defensively, Wieskamp must fill out his frame in order to guard frontcourt positions. At 21 years old, his ceiling is modest.
One thing is clear, Wieskamp has a clear marketable skill at the next level. His shooting should have teams positioning for his services as the action on draft night shifts to the second round.
The Blazers need to fill out their bench with discount options. Wieskamp’s blend of shooting and athletic upside presents the best of both worlds. His floor-spacing chops could be utilized inside second-unit alignments early in his career. Moving forward Wieskamp’s athletic testing numbers could yield favorable on-court production once unlocked.
Wieskamp’s hypothetical fit with the Blazers becomes even more interesting if Portland reinvests in another paint-heavy backup center like Enes Kanter. Adding Wieskamp as a tertiary floor spacer could generate valuable space underneath for the big fellas to operate.