Looks like Bonner finished as Raptor

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:27 AM ET

The NBA has pushed back the start of its free agent signing period, but the extra time may not help Matt Bonner reach a deal with the Raptors.

Kenny Grant, Bonner's agent, said yesterday three other teams have called to inquire about the Red Rocket, who is a restricted free agent.

Bonner, a fan favourite, and the Raptors reportedly are not close on a potential salary figure.

With the new collective bargaining agreement still being finalized, the NBA postponed tomorrow's scheduled opening of free agency signings. The players' association is hoping signings can begin next week.

Bonner, meanwhile, seems ready to test the market. The Raptors have the right to match any offer Bonner receives.

"Matt has certainly made an effort to meet them, but the team has done nothing from Day 1," Grant said.

Bonner, running a basketball camp at home in New Hampshire, has made no secret of his desire to return to Toronto.

"I guess there is a certain level of disappointment (a deal hasn't been reached), but it's part of the profession," said Bonner, who endeared himself to fans with his hard work last season. "I love Toronto and I love the fans. It's an unbelievable city and I'd love to be back."

Raptors general manager Rob Babcock confirmed no deal is imminent with Bonner, who made $385,000 US last season. No talks are scheduled between Grant and Babcock.

"We feel Matt has a certain value, but (the Raptors) don't agree and other teams don't agree (with the Raptors)," Grant said.

Babcock, meanwhile, would not confirm the team has reached a three-year deal with second-round pick Roko Ukic, even though reports indicate just that. Babcock simply said talks are very positive with the Croatian point guard.

Babcock also said talks are going well with Spanish point guard Jose Manuel Calderon, who has been linked to the Raptors and the Detroit Pistons recently.

If the Raptors sign Calderon, that likely means Omar Cook, who joined the team on a 10-day contract at the end of last season, will not find employment here.

Forward Pape Sow, the Raptors' other restricted free agent, is expected to sign with the team when the CBA is completed.

BRIEFLY

First-round pick Charlie Villanueva, who missed the Minnesota summer league with a strained right groin muscle, stayed busy during his time off.

"He's doing fine," Billy Ceisler, Villanueva's agent, said.

"He has been working out pretty hard. I'm sure if it was the regular season, he would have been out on the court."

Fellow first-rounder Joey Graham also missed the Minnesota league with a strained right calf.


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