Gaines Leading NBA Development League in Scoring

Sundiata GainesFormer University of Georgia standout PG Sundiata Gaines is currently playing in the NBA’s Development League (D-League) for the Idaho Stampede (who are affiliated with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets)…and at the moment, he sits atop of the scoring leaders with a stellar 27.0 ppg average!  But Gaines isn’t only scoring, he is also averaging 8.3 assists a game and 4.3 rebounds.  Sundiata already has one double-double under his belt in this young season, and it’s safe to say that he is clearly establishing himself as the “Lebron James” of the D-League.

This is Gaines’s first year playing in the D-League.  He spent the 2008-2009 basketball season playing in Italy for a team called NGC Cantu.  Him choosing to live in Boise, Idaho instead of Italy (beautiful landscape, amazing food culture, wine, etc) can only mean one thing – this guy must believe he has a real chance to earn a spot on an NBA roster (or he loves potatoes and all potato products).

Currently, there are only two former UGA players in the NBA – Damien Wilkins is on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Jarvis Hayes plays for the New Jersey Nets.

Hopefully there will be a third former Bulldog entering the NBA ranks before the season ends.

3 thoughts on “Gaines Leading NBA Development League in Scoring

  1. I’d love to see Sundiata make it to the big league sometime, although his team is an affiliate of two of the better teams of today’s NBA. He may be a little small but his versatility as a combo guard could garner some interest. Do you know if any NBA team can sign Sundiata, or is he bound by the Nugs and Blazers? Either way, it’s nice hear an update on one of my favorite recent Dawgs.


    1. Great question Dendrodawg…unfortunately, the answer on the D-League’s FAQ site is somewhat murky. As far as I can tell, the affiliate teams are merely places where NBA squads can designate players that haven’t been in the league for more than 2 years, and I think they can only designate 2 at a time – so basically they don’t want NBA teams dumping tons of guys that aren’t panning out into the D-League.

      Any team in the NBA can sign a D-League player (they call this a Gatorade Call-up).

      Here is the link if you want to check it out –


  2. Sundiata is one of my most favorite UGA athletes of all time. The guy played on some really bad teams, but each and every game he left everything he had on the court. That SEC championship tourney victory was such a great reward for him.

    I agree 100% with dendrodawg – his combo guard skills hopefully make him attractive to NBA teams…we’ll see.


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