Raptors going with the max

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell may want to pick No. 15 in the next Lotto 6/49 draw.

When the Raptors announced they would carry a full roster of 15 players (12 on the active roster and three on the injured list) yesterday just before the 6 p.m., deadline, No. 15 -- Vince Carter -- was hoping to make his way back to Toronto.

Carter testified in court yesterday in Columbia, S.C., defending himself against a $14-million US lawsuit filed by his former agent and convicted felon William (Tank) Black.

It was Carter's hope to return to Toronto late last night -- well in advance of the season opener tomorrow against the Houston Rockets at the Air Canada Centre -- though he is at the mercy of the proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Raptors placed centre Jerome Moiso (strained left hamstring), forward Pape Sow (left knee tendinitis) and guard Alvin Williams (right knee inflammation) on the injured list.

Mitchell wanted to keep all 15 of his players and his wish was granted by general manager Rob Babcock.

"If we've got 15 guys here at this late a stage, what does that normally mean?" Mitchell said yesterday afternoon following practice. "We like all 15."

SURGERY

Any player on the injured list must sit out a minimum five games.

Williams, who may require season-ending surgery, and Moiso, who missed four pre-season games, definitely are hurting. Babcock said Sow, who dressed for all eight pre-season games, went for x-rays yesterday.

"It was a combination of basketball and medical (decisions)," Babcock said last night after the deadline.

Of course, it is not uncommon in the NBA for sudden injuries to pop up when active rosters are full.

Whatever the case, Mitchell will be happy to keep Sow, who was on the bubble because of his non-guaranteed contract.

The roster is now set, but Mitchell's rotation is unclear. Point guard Milt Palacio, who missed most of an open practice on Sunday to receive treatment for a leg injury, practised yesterday and is on the active roster. Palacio and Roger Mason Jr. will battle for minutes behind starter Rafer Alston.

At centre, with Moiso out, raw rookie Rafael Araujo is the only man behind expected starter Loren Woods. Chris Bosh, a natural power forward, may be pressed into duty at centre.

Meanwhile, Mitchell, a rookie coach, thinks his team is ready for the opener.

"Am I confident we're going to be prepared? Yeah. Do I feel stressed in any way? No," Mitchell said.

"I asked for this and why would I feel (stressed) if I asked for it? Don't feel sorry for me. I'm where I want to be."


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