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Throwback Thursday: Sundiata Gaines


During the 2008 NBA draft, A young guard out of Georgia university sat nervously waiting to hear the commissioner to say the name Sundiata Gaines. After waiting all night Sundiata Gaines went undrafted. After his first attempt to join the league failed, Gaines decided to take his talents to the Italian league, where he had a stint with NGC Cantu.

The next season, he entered the NBA Development league draft where he was selected with the 15 pick by the Idaho Stampede. He then signed a series of 10 day contracts with the Utah Jazz. After his 10 day contracts, The Jazz liked what they saw from Gaines and locked him up for the remainder of the season. many Jazz fans where impressed by Gaines.  When Gaines hit a clutch 3 pointer to sink LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers many Jazz fans took notice and were impressed by Gaines. Gaines averaged about 3.3 points per game and added 1.2 assists a game for the Jazz. His numbers weren’t spectacular but Utah didn’t pick him up thinking he would blossom into an all star. He was a solid player that could come of the bench and score the basketball.

Unfortunately for Gaines hitting one buzzer beater was not enough for him to keep his spot on the team. During the next offseason Gaines was waived from the team.

Gaines bounced around the league a bit. He had short runs with the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, and the Toronto Raptors. Gaines played overseas for awhile bouncing from the D-league back to international. Gaines is currently back in Utah playing for the Salt Lake Stars. The Stars are the development team associated with the Utah Jazz.

When I saw that the stars had picked up Gaines I couldn’t help but get excited. The Jazz this season have been very injury prone. Although the Jazz currently have an blank injury report, It is always a good idea to be prepared. Obviously Gaines is not an NBA talent or he would sill be in the league. If the Jazz injury problem persists, having a player like Gaines on your roster wouldn’t hurt. Gaines might be worth a 10 day contract or 2. When I watch Stars games, Gaines appears to be a completely different player. He seems much more comfortable with the ball in his hands, and he is finding his teammate, giving them great looks. One thing that has not changed is the consistency of his shot. He can score at will, but does not rely on his scoring ability when he is out on the floor.


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