The Toronto Raptors have had a fairly busy Monday. According to Scott Schroeder of NBA FanHouse, the Raps will soon bring Trey Johnson, member of the Bakersfield Jam and the D-League’s leading scorer, in for a 10-day contract. Additionally, Holly MacKenzie of The Score reported that the Raptors have signed former D-Leaguer Sundiata Gaines to a second 10-day contract, though apparently Gaines’ tenure in Toronto may not last through the duration of that deal.
Schroeder indicated that Johnson is the Raptors’ real target for the 10-day, and that Gaines’ re-signing is most likely only a temporary solution until Johnson can make his way to Toronto. Gaines may be a Raptor for only a day more; Toronto plays against Memphis tonight, and Johnson wouldn’t arrive in time for the game. In all likelihood, Gaines will be cut loose in order to open up a roster spot for Johnson, and Toronto will continue their search of a backcourt stopgap that plays to their liking. Gaines seemed a good of a choice as any, but apparently Toronto thought otherwise, and will see what Johnson, a 6-5 26-year-old who can score like crazy and swing between guard positions, can offer.
There haven’t been very many D-League call-ups this season, but the Raptors have been notably active in their D-League interactions. The Johnson call-up is just one instance; Gaines was a one-time D-League commodity, and both first round pick Ed Davis and second round selection Solomon Alabi have been down to the D-League and back. Toronto doesn’t have a monopoly on D-League relations, but they’ve clearly made it a point of emphasis this season to consider the D a serious option for assignment and viable free agents.
Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a
Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.
During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.
Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.
The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.
Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.
Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.
Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.
His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.
Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)