Vince speaks, but says little
Carter's future with the Raptors still unclear
By STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun
Vince Carter would make a wonderful politician. He already has mastered the art of talking without actually saying anything.
Facing the media for the first time since rumours surfaced this summer that he wants out of Toronto, Carter insisted that he wants to stay. Which is well and good, except that he would not unequivocally deny that he, or a representative of his, has asked for a trade out of Raptorland.
"Everything's fine," Carter said last night, prior to his annual Charity All-Star Game at the Air Canada Centre. "I'm not worried about any of that, just let things fall where they may."
Raptors GM Rob Babcock was asked afterwards if Carter has asked for a trade.
"No," he replied.
"Has his agent asked you to make a deal?"
"Well, I'm not going to comment on that," Babcock said.
You don't have to be a literature major to read between the lines in that statement.
It's all very strange. Both Carter and Babcock expressed their mutual respect for each other and Carter seems genuinely intrigued about playing for first-year head coach Sam Mitchell. But something still seems to be amiss.
Babcock suggested that Carter is somewhat shell-shocked about all the changes to the organization -- a new GM, new coaching staff, new front office.
"I'm brand new, Sam's brand new. We're all brand new. All the players are a little emotional," Babcock said. "This is the third new head coach in three years. You can't expect the players to just jump up and down for joy and accept his with open arms. We have to earn that respect.
"All we're asking for is an opportunity to do that and come in and be professional and I'm completely convinced that Vince will do that," he added.
Meanwhile, trade rumours yesterday had Carter being shipped to Seattle for Ray Allen. There also was a report that Carter wants to be traded to the New York Knicks and that the Raptors would accept star point guard Stephon Marbury in the deal. Those rumours were shot down.
Carter, who recently returned from his honeymoon, said that he has put much less stock in all the trade rumours than the fans and media, and has been concentrating on making sure his camps and his charity game were a success. For the first time in four years, however, the game wasn't a sellout, drawing 16,217 fans.
"The hardest thing, if you've ever put anything together with NBA players, is making sure they show up," he said. "That has been the biggest passion, the biggest worry for me.
"Other than that, I'm happy. Everything's fine. I'm just one of those people who just let the chips fall where they may."