GM made his case

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:13 AM ET

The board of directors of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment Ltd., gave the thumbs-up to Raptors general manager Rob Babcock before he pulled the trigger on the Vince Carter deal Friday. Babcock said he had a conference call with the board, which gave final approval for the trade with the New Jersey Nets.

"Something of this magnitude, you obviously go through the board of directors," Babcock said yesterday. "They're the owners. It's their team. I explained the whole thing and the reasoning behind it, and made a bid, and they were all for it, they were all supportive of it.

"I didn't hear any screaming or anything on the other side. I had to make my case and make a good case. They are very good to work with and certainly they will jump in and play devil's advocate. They want to make sure it's well thought-through all the way, which is the way it should be. I did my homework, I made a presentation and they accepted it. They ask tough questions. They should."

VINCE IS ALL RIGHT

Though he benched Carter at times, Raptors coach Sam Mitchell was quick to praise him yesterday.

"I talked to Vince (Friday), gave him a hug and wished him well," Mitchell said. "Vince was great to me, he practised every day and told me he wished he could have got off to better start ... I have nothing bad to say about Vince.

HELP US OUT

Guard Jalen Rose took a subtle shot at Raptors management when asked what the team could do to ease tension. Trade rumours involving Rose are swirling.

"The success of the team starts up top," Rose said. "If you're looking for calmness, that's where it's going to start."

NEW LOOK

Without Carter, forward Chris Bosh feels the Raptors will have to change their strategy on offence.

(Stylistically for the club), there will be fewer isolation plays (with Carter gone), because we worked off him in the post a lot," Bosh said. That's going to take some getting used to. We're going to have to move a little bit more and find other ways to make up for those 20 points."


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