Ex-Raptor Archibald heading to Spain

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 6:47 AM ET

Robert Archibald, one of the Raptors' run-of-the-mill big men last season, is bidding the big adios to the NBA. The 6-foot-11, 250-pound centre/forward, who was acquired by the Raptors last January, has signed a deal to play for Valencia in the Spanish Elite League for this coming season.

Archibald, the first Scottish-born player to appear in an NBA regular season game, played in 30 games for the Raptors, averaging 8.0 minutes, 1.0 points and 1.8 rebounds.

He was picked up by the Raptors from the Orlando Magic for centre Mangke Bateer, the rights to 7-foot-3 Dutch centre Remon Van de Hare and the option to exchange second-round draft picks in 2005.

Raptors general manager Rob Babcock said yesterday that he still may bring in a free agent or two to the team's training camp, but he will not spend any more guaranteed money. The Raps have 11 players on guaranteed contracts, meaning that, barring any more movement, there is one open roster spot.

Babcock expects two young forwards, the team's second round draft choice this season, Pape Sow, and Matt Bonner, a second-round pick last year, to fight for the spot on the roster. The 6-foot-9 Bonner, who averaged 19.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in the elite Italian League last season, impressed the Raptors braintrust at the Summer League this year.

"I'd rather have two spots open (at training camp), although I don't know if I'll get to do that. " Babcock said. "But it's healthy to come to camp with an open spot."

The Raps will open camp on Oct. 5 at Brock University in St. Catharines. Babcock likes the idea of having camp away from the hustle and bustle of Toronto.

"We wanted something a little more secluded and we can really focus on basketball," he said. "With such a new staff, this physically forces you to spend time with each other."


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