Raps give Jackson a chance

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

One of the greatest Ducks in history will be coming to Toronto, and it's not Daffy.

The Raptors will sign former University of Oregon star Luke Jackson to a 10-day contract today and will dress him for the game in Boston against the Celtics tomorrow.

At the same time, the Raptors yesterday waived 2006 second-round draft pick P.J. Tucker, who has spent part of the season with the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League.

Jackson, a small forward, was the 10th overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers but made only 46 appearances during two seasons there before being traded to the Celtics during the 2006 pre-season. After failing to make the team, reportedly because there just weren't enough spots available, he joined the Idaho Stampede of the NBADL where he averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists this season, while shooting 49% from behind the three-point line. This is the second call-up of the season for Jackson, who was signed to a 10-day contract by the Clippers on Jan. 8.

SHOOTING HELP

The Raptors signed Jackson for his outside shooting capabilities with the club's top two three-point shooters, Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker, out with injuries. Parker, who has a sprained right ankle, is shooting 43% from beyond the arc while Bargnani, who had his appendix removed last week and is expected to be out for a couple of weeks, is shooting 38% from three-point range.

Jackson, 25, was a legend with the Oregon Ducks, the only player in the school's history to place in the top-10 in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. He also recorded two career triple-doubles at Oregon.

Jackson arrived in Toronto late last week and worked out for team officials at the Air Canada Centre yesterday. He will practise today before the club takes off for Boston.

As for Tucker, the 6-foot-5 forward played in only 17 games for the Raptors, averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds before being shipped down to Colorado, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19 games.

HEALING TIME

Head coach Sam Mitchell gave the team the day off yesterday, mainly because his squad is so banged up. Backup point guard Jose Calderon just returned from a sprained left ankle and still isn't 100% while all-star forward Chris Bosh sprained his right ankle in Toronto's convincing 121-94 win over the Denver Nuggets at the Air Canada Centre on Friday night, although he is expected to dress for the Celtics.

"We have a lot of guys banged up so they need some time off," said centre Rasho Nesterovic. "With the playoffs coming, when the real season starts, you don't want to have four or five main guys injured."

The Raptors are currently 38-31 and enjoy a seven-game cushion over the New Jersey Nets (prior to last's night action) on top of the Atlantic Division, and are on pace to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in four years.


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