Raptors net Gaines

RYAN WOLSTAT,QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:35 PM ET

Sundiata Gaines‚ your timing could not have been much better.

The Raptors brought the point guard in on a 10-day contract on Thursday largely because incumbent lead guards Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless have been hobbled by injuries for weeks.

Lo and behold, Bayless reinjured his tender ankle on Thursday and is now questionable for Friday’s home tilt with the Detroit Pistons.

Gaines, a 6-foot-1, 24-year-old native of Queens, N.Y., has bounced around the NBA, totalling 40 regular season games and has one memorable game-winning shot to his credit while with the Utah Jazz.

Gaines averaged 23.9 points and 6.9 assists with Idaho of the D-League last season, but Raptors head coach Jay Triano considers him more of a facilitator than a scorer — something his team desperately needs at the moment.

“He is a point guard who can set up and run offences rather than he’s going to come down and look for his own,” Triano said of Gaines.

“We don’t need points from that position as (much) as we need someone who can orchestrate who gets the basketball.”

Gaines said he had other offers but felt like Toronto was the right fit for him.

“I had some choices, but the Raptors were the best opportunity,” Gaines said.

“It’s a new beginning. I’ll come out and play hard (and) everything else will take its course.”

Calderon said it is difficult for a point guard to come in on a short contract and pick up the offence, but said he will help get Gaines acclimated.

“It’s kind of tough. But that’s why I’m here, I will help him get ready as quick as possible,” Calderon said.

Calderon made it through his first practice of the week on Thursday, while forward Amir Johnson had to leave early because of his sore back.

Triano said swingman Sonny Weems did not play on Wednesday against Atlanta because he had not had enough good practices since returning from his own back ailment and had not been shooting the ball well.


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