Decimated by injury and now, the flu, the short-handed Raptors inked point guard Sundiata Gaines to a second 10-day contract and confirmed the acquisition of 7-foot-2 centre Alexis Ajinca from the Dallas Mavericks ahead of Monday’s tilt with the Memphis Grizzlies.
With starting point guard Jose Calderon too weak to play due to the flu and combo guard Leandro Barbosa still sidelined, Gaines received another look, even though it first appeared the team would be using its final roster spot to call-up guard Trey Johnson, the NBA Development League’s leading scorer.
The little-used Ajinca was peddled to Toronto along with the 2012 second round pick Toronto previously gave Dallas in exchange for the rights to 2010 50th overall selection Solomon Alabi. In this transaction, Dallas received the draft rights to big man Giorgos Printezis.
Dallas is paying the remainder of Ajinca’s salary and has also brought aboard ex-Raptor Peja Stojakovic.
A native of Saint Etienne, France, Ajinca has appeared in 47 regular season games (six starts) with Charlotte and Dallas averaging 2.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 6.1 minutes.
He was the 20th selection of the 2008 draft by the Charlotte Bobcats and averaged 13.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and 24.9 minutes in 33 D-League games last season.
Ajinca is expected to join the team for Wednesday’s game against Philadelphia.
Gaines has played in five games with Toronto averaging 5.8 points, 2.0 assists and 14.6 minutes, but was not a lock to sign a second 10-day deal until Calderon was ruled out.
Johnson, a 6-foot-5 combo guard,is averaging 25.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Bakersfield Jam.
The Raptors do not have to keep Gaines for the full 10 days and can drop him and pick up Johnson at any time.
Raptors swingman Sonny Weems dressed for the Memphis affair, the second time he has suited up in the past 19 games due to back spasms, though he did not play the last time he was in uniform.