On the NBA's trade deadline day, Raptors general manager Rob Babcock did nothing, which might be a good thing considering what he got for Vince Carter.
Despite intense interest by other teams for some of his players, forward Donyell Marshall in particular, Babcock said yesterday that not enough was being offered for him to make a move, adding he is confident the current roster of Raptors can make a run for a playoff spot this season.
"We like our players, we think we have a chance if we can get some consistency going with our basketball team and keep playing defence the way we did the other night in New Jersey," Babcock said at a media conference outside the Raptors offices. "We're really not that far out of the picture."
The first-year GM said that any trade he would consider would have to benefit his team in the future and not just this season, even though he is optimistic his club will qualify for post-season action.
But making the playoffs this year will be a tall order for the Raptors, who sit 41/2 games out of first in the Atlantic Division.
While Babcock did nothing to bolster his squad for a playoff run, a number of teams in the division did, especially the two front-runners, Boston and Philadelphia.
The 76ers, who are tied with the Celtics for first in the Atlantic, got Chris Webber from the Sacramento Kings and Rodney Rogers from the New Orleans Hornets while Boston re-acquired Antoine Walker from the Atlanta Hawks.
The New Jersey Nets, who acquired Carter from Toronto on Dec. 17 for Alonzo Mourning (who was eventually bought out), two draft choices and two other players who have played very little, dealt for Cliff Robinson earlier this month.
Eric Williams, one of the players the Raptors received from Jersey, has been used sparingly of late by coach Sam Mitchell and is bitter about his situation in Toronto.
Williams has repeated during the past couple of weeks that he wants out. The Raptors were counting on Williams to bring a solid defensive game and decent scoring touch to the team, but he has provided neither lately.
Babcock, however, is confident Williams and Marshall, who also expressed interest in being dealt, will accept the situation and play hard.
"Those guys have both been professional all the way," Babcock said. "Eric has been terrific, he has worked hard, his attitude has been great and though he hasn't been getting great stats lately, he has been performing well. We need him to be a successful basketball team."
For his part, Marshall did accept his fate with a grain of salt.
"I'm going to keep playing hard," he said.
"That's all I can do."