San Antonio Spurs draft pick Joe Wieskamp was taken in the second round despite an accolade-filled career at the University of Iowa. Kyle Korver, one of the greatest shooters ever, had a similar start to his NBA career.
The draft day similarities don’t end with just a second-round selection. The 2021 NBA Draft class was one of the most stacked ever. In any other draft class, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley may have gone first overall, but Cade Cunningham is one of the most touted prospects ever. Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Kuminga, and others helped round out a loaded class, where any pick in the top 20 seemingly is a future NBA all-level talent.
Korver was taken 51st in the 2003 NBA Draft. Other notable names include LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, David West, Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner (superstar), Kendrick Perkins (loser), and Mo Williams. Each class was insanely deep, so there’s no reason a second-round pick can’t develop into an NBA star.
Kyle Korver was an All-Star and led the league in 3-point percentage four times. He shot 43% from behind the arc over his career. That’s good enough to be the tenth best ever. Those are big shoes for newly-acquired draft pick Joe Wieskamp to fill.
It’s not out of the question, though. Korver carved out an NBA career as only a shooter. Wieskmap is mostly a shooter. In college, both shot well over 40% from deep. Admittedly, Korver was the better shooter, but Wieskamp does more than just shoot.
Wieskamp attempted and made more shots from the inside at Iowa than Korver did at Creighton. He also grabbed more rebounds and turned the ball over fewer times. Korver was a better defender, but that didn’t really transition into the NBA. Hopefully, Wieskamp can maintain some defensive acumen as a Spur.
Korver was a bigger scorer in college, but Wieskamp was the second option for the Hawkeyes. The Pistons drafted his teammate and Naismith Player of the Year, Luka Garza -- also in the second round, it should be noted. Korver didn’t have any NBA-ready teammates on his Bluejay squads, so he was forced to carry more of a load.
Kyle Korver made a nice and surprising NBA career for himself as an offensive weapon. Wieskamp will probably be used in much the same way, although he adds some dynamic play that Korver lacked throughout his career.
The comparison is not perfect. Korver is a better shooter. Wieskamp is better at rebounding and ball-handling. However, Joe Wieskamp should have a similar trajectory. He can be a weapon for many years to come, surprising everyone who passed on him. An All-Star appearance down the road should not be out of the picture, nor should a 15-plus year NBA career.