Talks focus on Marshall

STEVE BUFFERY and BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

With the NBA trade deadline just one day away, Raptors forward Donyell Marshall continues to draw major interest from around the league.

Marshall has been linked to numerous trade rumours, with the Indiana Pacers reportedly showing serious interest in recent days.

A prospective deal would send Marshall and backup point guard Milt Palacio to the Pacers for Austin Croshere, James Jones and Anthony Johnson, according to a league source.

Another rumour has Marshall being shipped to Indiana for Pacers centre/forward Scot Pollard. That deal would make sense from both a player and financial perspective. Marshall, in the final year of his contract, will make $5.3 million US this season while Pollard, who has one more year left on his deal after this season, is making $5.8 million and will earn $6.2 million next year. Pollard, 30, would be an improvement over rookie Rafael Araujo in terms of rebounding and offence.

"Right now, I'd say it's probably less than 50-50 that we do something," Raptors general manager Rob Babcock said last night.

"About 90% of the stuff that's out there on the Internet is totally false. My guess would be there's more of a chance that we don't do something."

According to the New York Post yesterday, the Raptors and the lowly New Orleans Hornets (11-42) are talking deal -- a trade that would send disgruntled guard Baron Davis, who has played only 17 games this season because of a bad back, to Toronto for point guard Rafer Alston, Marshall and Lamond Murray. Davis used to be a top guard, but he has a questionable attitude and comes with a $63-million price-tag for the next four seasons.

However, a league source said yesterday, "There's no way the Hornets will take Alston."

Marshall, a hot commodity in the NBA because of his size and ability to shoot three-pointers with consistency and the fact his contract expires at the end of the season, has also drawn interest from the Miami Heat. One deal reportedly would send forwards Malik Allen and Wesley Person or a draft pick to Toronto, with centre Michael Doleac's name being thrown in for good measure. However, not everyone in the Raptors organization is a fan of Doleac.

Marshall has made it known he would welcome a trade, although he insisted yesterday he is not consumed by the talk.

"I can't control if I'm going to be here or I'm not going to be here," Marshall said.


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