The Toronto Raptors have found a backup point guard, signing D.J. Augustin to a one-year contract and saving themselves from an awkward situation as the pickings got slim, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The contract is for $1.26 million, per Wojnarowski. Augustin, the No. 9 pick in the 2008 draft out of Texas, played a reserve role for the Pacers last season, his first year not with the Charlotte Bobcats. Although he occasionally shows flashes of scoring ability -- notably a 4-for-5 outburst from three in the playoffs against the Knicks -- so far he hasn't proven worthy of his top 10 selection. He averaged just 4.7 points per game last year on 35 percent shooting from the floor. He averaged 14.4 points per game three years ago and 6.4 assists two years ago, but those were on underachieving Bobcats teams, and he was never particularly efficient.
It's not a bad signing, when you consider the other options: Other available free agent point guards include Nate Robinson, Beno Udrih, Jamaal Tinsley, Jannero Pargo, Sebastian Telfair, who played in Toronto last year, and Mike James on a slimming market. Augustin was available for cheap, played on a team that made the Eastern Conference Finals last year, and was not close to the worst option.
Last year, the Raptors started out the year with Jose Calderon, Kyle Lowry, and John Lucas III on the roster. They traded away Calderon to get Rudy Gay, and traded for Telfair midway through the year. Lucas will be with the Jazz this upcoming year, and there isn't much interest in Telfair, so before signing Augustin they had Lowry and a smattering of shooting guards such as DeMar DeRozan, who lack the capability to play point guard. Lowry's a modest starting point guard, averaging 11.6 points and 6.4 assists, but with just him, they would have been horribly strapped for ball distribution.