Luke Jackson hasn't exactly set the Air Canada Centre on fire, but the journeyman forward has done enough to earn a contract for the rest of this season and for the 2007-08 campaign.
"I'm excited about it," Jackson said following a team practice yesterday. "I think I can fit in well here, and the coaching staff and the guys on the team have been really great to me, so I feel like I've fit in since day one."
Jackson, 25, joined the Raptors on a call-up from the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League.
He signed his first 10-day contract with Toronto on March 25 and his second 10-day April 4. In seven games with the Raptors, the former University of Oregon star is averaging 1.7 points in 5.9 minutes. He had highs of 10 points, two rebounds and two assists April 3 at Miami.
Jackson, 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 23 games with Idaho. He was shooting 49% from three-point range.
He was a first-round selection (10th overall) by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2004 NBA Draft and played two seasons with Cleveland, averaging 2.7 points and 1.0 rebounds in 46 appearances. He was dealt to Boston on October 13, but was released prior to the start of this season. This is Jackson's third 10-day contract in 2007. The laid-back forward had especially kind words for the leader of the Raptors team.
"I've seen superstars all over the league, and I don't think there's any classier guy than Chris Bosh, the way he handles himself in the locker and out on the court," Jackson said.
None other than Jorge Garbajosa was inside the Raptors fitness room yesterday, doing his best to ride a stationary bike, despite a huge cast on his left leg and foot. The Raptors rookie forward, who was a candidate for rookie of the year honours before getting hurt, is out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a displaced left ankle joint suffered in a fall on March 26 in Boston. He also suffered a ligament tear and fractured fibula. He is walking with the help of crutches.
Bosh said this has been his most enjoyable year as a Raptor, and not just because the team is winning.
"I'm putting basketball aside," he said. "I'm talking about the guys we have, how much fun we have on the road and in the locker room, eating together, spending time together. It's fun."