Trey Johnson

Raptors to sign Trey Johnson to a 10-day contract, ink Sundiata Gaines in the meantime

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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.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.