Raptors shuffle deck

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Raptors general manager Rob Babcock has the green light to trade Chris Bosh for Michael (Yogi) Stewart if he feels it is in the best interest of the team.

In the wake of the promotion of Wayne Embry to senior basketball adviser to the president yesterday, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. president Richard Peddie said the oft-criticized rookie general manager has not lost any power.

"At the end of the day, Rob absolutely makes the final decisions on basketball at Maple Leaf Sports," Peddie said.

Embry, hired last summer as the special adviser to the general manager, now reports to Peddie instead of Babcock.

"I think it's clear the decision-making authority remains with the same people," said Embry, who has more than 40 years of NBA experience as a player and executive and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"Switching my situation puts me in a position, perhaps, to challenge the decision-making process and to hopefully offer some wisdom and advice from my years of experience."

Still, the power structure is confusing to some. When asked who the boss of the team is, Raptors swingman Jalen Rose said, "I don't know. You have to ask (MLSEL chairman) Larry Tanenbaum that. I don't know."

Told of Rose's comments, Peddie said, "The boss is ultimately the board of directors. I report to the board, John Ferguson runs (the Maple Leafs) and Rob Babcock runs basketball.

"Ask the players and they don't really understand how organizations work."

One of Embry's responsibilities will be educating the board of directors on basketball-related matters.

"I'm there to talk to them about basketball," Embry said. "I have gained 46 years of experience and expertise and I'm looking forward to just helping in a small way and a big way. I'm very impressed with the fans and their enthusiasm ... and they should be rewarded with a winning basketball team."

Babcock said he fully supports the decision.

"Wayne would never do something that would be undermining to me in any way," he said. "Anything he would do is strictly out of strong character, loyalty, integrity and respect. This guy's values and character are as strong as they come. There's nothing evil in this at all toward me.

"This is a very positive thing for our organization and our basketball staff."

Coach Sam Mitchell also likes the move.

"It's good. It can't be bad in any capacity," Mitchell said.

"Wayne is a great man."


Videos

Photos