Maybe this time

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

Luke Jackson is not going to be the deciding factor in the Raptors' season.

But Jackson is hoping the 10-day contract he signed with the club yesterday is a springboard to bigger and better things for himself.

The Raptors have to look no further than his .486 three-point shooting percentage in the NBA D-League for a reason to get him on board.

CLEAR A SPOT

To make room on the roster for Jackson -- who was the 10th pick overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2004 -- the Raptors released forward P.J. Tucker.

In Jackson, the Raptors have another long-range shooter with Andrea Bargnani out for at least a couple more weeks following an appendectomy. Anthony Parker will return to the court tonight in Boston against the Celtics, said he is not back to full speed yet.

Jackson has seen more than his share of career misery thanks in large part to some early injuries and lengthy rehabs that have limited his opportunities. There was a back injury that turned out to be a genetic condition known as stenosis. It's a narrowing of the spaces in the spine which results in the compression of nerve roots.

The condition worsened through his rookie season in 2004-05 and the following year before finally having surgery in the off-season last year. Jackson also had surgery on a broken left wrist at the same time, so the beginning of this season was really the first time he was healthy since he was drafted.

Jackson said it was the rehab from the surgery more than the surgery itself that held him back.

"Most people thought it was a huge deal but it really wasn't," Jackson said. "It was really a matter of me finding a way to get my core strength back after that and once I figured that out I felt really good."

STRENGTHENING

Jackson worked out with Vancouver physiotherapist Alex McKechnie in the off-season. McKechnie has helped NBA players such as Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Theo Ratliffe with core strengthening drills and he did the same for Jackson.

The Raptors are Jackson's fifth team this season. He started the year in Cleveland and was traded to Boston. The Celtics, against whom Jackson will make his Raptors debut tonight, waived him at the end of training camp.

Jackson's next stop was the Idaho Stampede of the D-League where he put on an impressive three-point shooting display.

He earned a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers in January but despite impressing, he was let go when Shaun Livingston suffered a leg injury. That meant the Clippers needed a point guard, not a shooting guard or small forward such as Jackson.

Jackson is hoping his timing is better in Toronto.

"I'm just excited to be back in the NBA," Jackson said.

"I'm an optimist and whenever anything good happens I just keep working hard and good things will happen. It's been that way my whole career and I'm confident in my ability. I just feel like if I get a chance, look out."


Videos

Photos