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.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.