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Trade Deadline Looms - No Trades from Raptors?

Allan WexlerCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2008

While many sports writers and fans in Toronto are speculating trades to be made before the February trade deadline, I don't believe that any blockbuster is coming.

They may make some minor trade(s) to fet a backup point guard if they determine that T.J. Ford won't be able to play this year; they may also clear some room for a draft choice in the upcoming draft.

But I believe Bryan Colangelo is gearing up to make this team the championship material two years hence, when they will rid themselves of large contracts (such as Rasho Nesterovic's) and will have had the advantage of two drafts—which, hopefully, will produce a couple of players who will fit into the rotation.

Because the Raptors won their division last year, most fans are looking for them to compete for the crown this year, but those expectations do not blend with the long-term vision that Colengelo has brought to this team.

He drafted Bargnani over Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, knowing that he was less ready for the NBA at the time of the draft. But Colangelo believed that Bargnani's upside was larger, even though it might not be realized for a couple of years.

Colangelo also put the ball in the hands of a young guard (Ford) coming off a year of inactivity due to injury, and was aware that it would be a couple of years before Ford became a championship-type guard.

Adding Garbajosa and Parker, two established international players, brought maturity to this team—but their integration into NBA life was not expected to take effect over night.

The Raptors also hold the rights to Roko Ukic—perhaps their backup point guard of the future—who languishes in Europe, where he has not received the playing time that the Raptors hoped he would get.

The bottom line is that Colangelo's plan was intended to take effect over three years. He won't ruin the core of the team and interfere with that process by making significant trades unless it brings the Raptors closer to that goal.

I don't see a trade on the horizon that would accomplish that

Raptor fans, sit tight—the future is not now.

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