Why didn't the Raptors trade Donyell Marshall at the trade deadline?
It's a question the critics were pondering yesterday after the 6-foot-9 free agent forward agreed to terms on a four-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Raptors general manager Rob Babcock would be the first to admit that dealing Marshall back in February at least would have netted Toronto something in return, which is not the case now that the 11-year veteran is on the verge of joining Team LeBron.
The trouble, Babcock said yesterday, was that the offers just were not up to snuff.
"We pursued some things, but there just was not anything significant," the Toronto GM said. "Because (Marshall) was a pending free agent who could walk away from whatever team acquired him when the season ended, everyone wanted to trade us guys with three or four years remaining on their contracts who, quite frankly, were overpaid.
"As well, what people don't understand is that at that point in the season, we were still in the playoff race."
Marshall's exit from Toronto was expected, even though Babcock insisted the door was never closed on a return to the Raptors.
But Marshall was believed to be seeking an increased role with a winning team, a scenario he now finds himself in with the Cavs.
"We look at this as an opportunity to join a team that could win an NBA championship real soon," Andy Miller, Marshall's agent, told the Associated Press.
NBA teams can not officially announce free agent signings until later this week, but Miller's comments indicate the deal is done.
While he made just two starts for the Raptors last season, the 32-year-old did averaged 11.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and exhibited a penchant for draining three pointers, a skill that made him a sought-after commodity on the open market.
Meanwhile Babcock was extremely impressed with the decision of forward Chris Bosh to travel to California recently and work out with frontcourt-mate and fellow power forward Charlie Villanueva.
Coach Sam Mitchell suggested the trip to Bosh, but Babcock insists Bosh made the final call.
"There was no pressure put on Chris to go," Babcock said. "He did it because he wanted to, and it was terrific.
"Chris stepped up and showed what a leader he is."