Raptors add big man Greg Stiemsma

Greg Stiemsma of the Minnesota Timberwolves blows a bubble while wearing an NBA Green Week shirt...

Greg Stiemsma of the Minnesota Timberwolves blows a bubble while wearing an NBA Green Week shirt before game against the Golden State Warriors on April 9, 2013 at Oracle Arena. (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:40 PM ET

TORONTO - The competition for the final Raptors roster spot got a little more interesting on Thursday.

The team signed centre Greg Stiemsma, a 6-foot-11, 260 pound shot-blocking specialist who started 20 games for New Orleans last season.

The Wisconsin product averaged 2.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and a block in 18.3 minutes last season.

He will compete with point guard Will Cherry and swingman Jordan Hamilton, who both have unguaranteed contracts, for the 15th spot.

Stiesma would appear to have the best shot of making the squad, given the dire need for a rim protecter. He has blocked an impressive 2.8 shots per 36 minutes over his first three seasons, including 4.0 per 36 minutes as a rookie.

Jonas Valanciunas does not excel in that area and rookie Lucas Nogueira projects to be a strong shot-blocker one day, but will need time to develop.

Back in February, Stiesma and Valanciunas irritated each other during a game between the Raptors and Pelicans.


Videos

Photos