Young Raps will get chance

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

The day after Halloween, the Raptors braintrust faces the scary prospect of cutting prospects.

NBA rosters must be set as of 6 p.m. on Nov. 1.

With teams allowed to carry 12 active players (and a maximum of three on the injured list), it's inevitable some players will be given their walking papers before that.

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell says he can learn only so much from players at training camp, especially young guys with limited NBA experience.

With that in mind, he has decided to give his young players as much floor time as possible in early pre-season games against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday and Sunday.

"I'm going to talk to some of our older guys and see how they feel about not playing the first one or two pre-season games to give our younger guys more time," Mitchell said, after putting his charges through a practice that lasted nearly three hours yesterday. "And then I'll use the next five games to zero in on eight, nine, 10 (rotation) guys. In the last pre-season game (Oct. 29) just try to keep everyone healthy to start the season."

There are a number of players on the bubble, including youngsters Matt Bonner, Ousmane Cisse and Pape Sow, although Mitchell only has positive words for his young charges and will not hint as to who will be cut.

"These guys are eager to learn, and they're doing good," the coach said. "They're making some mistakes, but they're hustling and playing hard. They're doing everything we ask of them."


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