Carter silent on trade issue

Vince Carter says he is happy with the Raptors' new up-tempo style of play and that he enjoys his...

Vince Carter says he is happy with the Raptors' new up-tempo style of play and that he enjoys his teammates, but he would not comment on his trade request. (Toronto Sun/Stan Behal)

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

When asked yesterday whether he still wants to be traded, Vince Carter performed a tap dance that would have made Gene Kelly proud.

Even though Carter clearly is enjoying the up-tempo style of play implemented by first-year coach Sam Mitchell, and seems to be relishing the company of his teammates, he refused to offer an update on his trade requests of this past summer. There are rumours Carter has rescinded that request.

"Let's talk about the team, man," Carter said, changing the topic following a long team practice. "This is fun to play."

Carter requested a trade because he did not like the fact the Raptors were rebuilding. He also was miffed over not being consulted about some of the front-office changes. But since Mitchell arrived and instituted the run-and-gun style, Carter and the rest of his teammates appear to be on Cloud 9 -- after enduring the half-court, defence-first system of Kevin O'Neill last season.

Why Carter won't comment on the trade situation is anybody's guess, but the rest of the organization seems to have caught the same bug. General manager Rob Babcock also refused to bite when asked if he is still feeling pressure to trade Carter.

"I never felt pressure to trade him, and I still don't," Babcock said. "I always said, I'm not going to trade anyone unless it's a trade that's going to make us a better team."

STAY PUT

Babcock suggested he does want Carter to stay put, even if an attractive deal materializes.

"He has won me over," Babcock said. "He has worked hard every single day. He has done everything the coaches asked him to do. He has not only played hard, but played team ball, played with a great attitude and he's showing great leadership. I couldn't be happier with what he has done."

"I do feel like he's happy and he's in a good space, but at the end of the day only God knows and only he knows," forward Jalen Rose said. "Vince is a good guy in the locker room. We understand what he's thinking and how he's feeling, but it's not up to me to relay it to you guys."

In Wednesday night's home-opening 95-88 victory over the Houston Rockets, the Raptors' starting five combined for an impressive 77 points. Only centre Loren Woods, who had his hands full guarding 7-foot-6 Yao Ming, failed to score in double digits. If the Raptors continue to play like that, Carter won't feel as pressured to carry the team offensively.

"It doesn't matter who scores, as long as we get the job done," he said. "When we're struggling, I don't mind stepping up. But when we play this way, it's not needed."

The Raptors will have their hands full tonight when they play host to the defending-champion Detroit Pistons.


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