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.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.