The Nets’ backup/third string point guard the past two seasons has signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Pacers and will try to make the Pacers’ opening day roster during training camp. Gaines seemed to go in and out of Coach Avery Johnson’s doghouse very regularly because he had a tendency to dribble too much and take bad shots as the shot clock expired.
However, for part of last season, Gaines sported the second best fourth quarter efficiency rating in the entire league!! Of course, Gaines played point guard during a lot of fourth quarter garbage time – and he was quite good then. I remember one game where Gaines first entered the game with three minutes left in the fourth quarter of a blowout game. By the end of the game, he had 10 points, and impressed all the fans who hadn’t left the Prudential Center yet.
Gaines played very frantic defense and was able to force a lot of turnovers. In his first season, he played as the third string point guard behind Devin Harris/Deron Williams and Jordan Farmar. In his limited time, he proved to be a very likable, though unimpressive player. His second season, he actually beat out Farmar to become the team’s backup point guard. That’s when things started to go downhill for Gaines: he became very irritating with his reckless, uncontrolled play. In sum, Gaines was much more likable his first season in Newark than his second.
In Indiana, Gaines will compete with Lance Stephenson and Orlando Johnson, among others for a roster spot. This will be a good opportunity for Sundiata to try to stay in the NBA. Gaines is from Queens and he averaged 5.1 PTS, 2.2 AST, 1.9 REB, and 1.0 STL last season. The Nets are definitely through with him, but they must be happy the Pacers are giving him another chance.