Rob Babcock was denying rumours, Sam Mitchell was laughing and Donyell Marshall wasn't even paying much attention to the trade talk. Such was the reaction in Raptorland yesterday to a rumoured four-team trade, reported by TNT on Thursday night.
"From our end, there is no truth to it at all," Babcock, the Raptors general manager, said yesterday from Minnesota, where he was scouting a college basketball game. "It's all news to me."
The rumour had Marshall going to the Minnesota Timberwolves, along with the Miami Heat's Eddie Jones. The unhappy Jalen Rose would be off to the New York Knicks, with Penny Hardaway coming to Toronto. Miami would get the Minnesota Timberwolves' Latrell Sprewell.
While not commenting directly on that strange-sounding deal, Mitchell, the Raptors coach, simply shrugged off all the commotion.
"You guys probably know better than I do (about a potential trade) since you all listen to that nonsense," he said.
"Some of it is so far-fetched, it's not even worth my time to comment on ... It's the NBA and guys get traded, but it's almost comical, some of the trades you hear about."
Marshall simply chuckled when asked about the rumour.
"It's been around for the last seven years," he said of hearing his name involved in trade talk.
Marshall and Rose, both starters for much of last season, aren't thrilled with coming off the bench under first-year coach Mitchell this season. Both have voiced their frustration in recent weeks, but neither has requested a trade.
Marshall's contract expires after this season, so it's not surprising to hear his name involved in speculation.
"It is what it is," said Rose, whose production has improved since being taken out of the starting lineup 10 games ago. "It's out of my control. Obviously, sometimes when there is smoke, there is fire. I've just got to be a pro and stand back and see what happens."