Donyell wanted

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

Donyell Marshall left Toronto early this morning to drive home to Chicago.

If he returns as a member of the Raptors next season, it would be a huge surprise.

"I think at this point in my career, 1 and 1A is winning and having a chance to play and help that team win," Marshall, who becomes a free agent July 1, said. "Of course, you want to go for a contract, but I've been in the league 11 years and I've had good deals throughout my career. I'm not broke. I'm not going to sit up here and say I'm going to the $100 million US team."

The Raptors probably don't fit the winning part of that equation, though the forward/centre wouldn't close the door on coming back next season.

"I would never say never to this situation," Marshall said. "I think a lot of people think I'm going and I won't play in this uniform again. But you guys have said that. I would never come out and say it."

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell certainly would like to have Marshall on the team next season.

"Donyell's an excellent player," Mitchell said. "We're going to miss his rebounding (if Marshall leaves). Some of the games we won this year, Donyell guarded Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, guys like that, athletic guys with lift. Obviously, his three-point shooting keeps the defence honest. I don't think you can replace Donyell."

LEBRON MANIA

With super sophomore LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers fighting for a playoff spot last night at the Air Canada Centre, the media room was jammed with Ohio reporters last night for the season finale. Twelve Cleveland-area reporters made the trip, along with a crew from ESPN.

BRIEFLY

The Raptors averaged 17,156 fans at home this season, well down from last season's average of 18,308. Last night's sellout of 19,800 was the 10th of the season.


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