After playing three seasons with the Iowa Hawkeyes, combo guard/forward Joe Wieskamp announced his declaration for the 2021 NBA Draft. Selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round with the forty-first pick, Wieskamp would have a short stint with the team before being redrafted into the NBA G-League in 2022.
Growing up in Muscatine, Iowa, the 6’6” Wieskamp would go on to become the state’s Mr. Basketball in 2018 in addition to being Iowa’s Class 4A leading scorer, Muscatine Muskies all-time leading scorer as well as Iowa’s Gatorade Player of the Year in both his junior and senior season.
Wieskamp would continue his success during his first year with the Hawkeyes averaging eleven points and just under five rebounds, good enough to be named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. As a result, he tested the 2019 NBA Draft water, but due to not hiring an agent he was eligible to return to the college ranks.
Until last month he was one of the former Iowa Hawkeyes playing in the NBA, but now he has been demoted to the G-League. What happened?
Career In NBA
After two more impressive seasons with the Hawkeyes in which he would be named to the All-Big Ten Third Team as a sophomore and the All-Big Ten Second Team as a junior, Wieskamp would once again test himself against the best of the 2021 NBA Draft class, once again without hiring an agent.
With some solid feedback during the 2021 NBA Combine, Wieskamp decided to remain in the draft, one that would see him taken by the young, rebuilding San Antonio Spurs.
OFFICIAL: We've re-signed @JWieskamp21! ✍️
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 24, 2022
Unfortunately for the sharp shooting forward, his college success didn’t exactly translate to the NBA game as he would play only 209 minutes over the course of twenty-two games for Coach Popovich. After spending most of his first season bouncing back and forth between the Spurs and their G-League affiliate in Austin, Wieskamp would be waived prior to the start of the 2022-23 season.
Currently playing for the Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks affiliate) in the NBA G-League, Wieskamp has managed to once again find his shooting touch, averaging 17.3 points, while shooting 53.6% from the field, 38% from downtown and 90.9 from the charity stripe.
With numbers like that and the current state of the NBA game where all teams are looking for shooters, there could be a chance that Wieskamp gets a call-up to the big league once again.
Los Angeles Lakers
Three weeks ago the Lakers’ season was in utter turmoil. While they have managed to turn their record around slightly, LeBron James and company are still on the outside of the Western Conference playoff race.
Although it seems like anyone not named Rob Pelinka knows that you need to surround James with shooters to be successful, the Lakers haven’t managed to do so over the past two years. The team recently held a pair of free-agent workouts, in which Wieskamp was one of the invitees.
Having currently parted ways with forward Matt Ryan, who in limited minutes of action was sold to fans as a three-point specialist, there remains an open spot for a player who can knock it down from long distance.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) November 11, 2022
It seems only fitting that since Wieskamp plays for their G-League team Milwaukee gives him a look at some point during the season.
Currently sitting second in the Eastern Conference and one of the early season favorites to contend for the 2022-23 NBA title, there isn’t much need for the team to tinker with their roster.
While the team still awaits the return of Joe Ingles from injury, should another of their small forwards, such as Khris Middleton, Jordan Nwora, or MarJon Beauchamp, there could be an easy call-up to be made.
The Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks G League Affiliate) picking up Joe Wieskamp in the G League Draft today is a fantastic get for them. He wasn't given a fair shake by San Antonio so glad to see him get his chance to prove himself in the G League. pic.twitter.com/fzV37w3mZ0
— Half-Assed Draft (@HalfAssedDraft) October 22, 2022
The Timberwolves were just a short time ago one of the teams with the most potential for the future. However, with the addition of Rudy Gobert taking some getting used to and the combination of the French big man and Karl-Anthony Towns clogging the lane, the need for floor spacing is a must.
Currently the lowest-ranking three-point shooting playoff team (seeded tenth in the West), the Wolves are hitting only 32% of their shots from downtown.
Adding a player like Wieskamp could help open up the lane for the Timberwolves’ bigs and also uber-talented guard Anthony Edwards to get to the rim. Joe would reunite with fellow Hawkeyes player Luka Garza if he joined the Wolves.
The NBA is full of second-round draftees, free agents, and G-League call-ups who maybe just needed a bit of seasoning before finding a place to call home. For a player like Wieskamp who has an effortless shooting touch off of catch-and-shoot sets as well as the ability to pull up off the dribble or get to the basket, it likely won’t be long before an NBA team gives him a second chance.
Hawkeyes in the NBA: Luka Garza signs with the Timberwolves, Joe Wieskamp returns to the Spurshttps://t.co/vPeK6Fc596
— On Iowa Sports (@GazetteOnIowa) August 23, 2022