Raps hunting for third guard

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

The sun has set on the Raptors plans to sign a point guard from the Land of the Rising Sun.

GM Rob Babcock had expressed interest in inviting Japanese point guard Yuta Tabuse to training camp, which begins Oct. 4 at Brock University in St. Catharines.

The Raptors felt that the quick Tabuse, the first Japanese-born player to play in the NBA, had a chance of becoming the club's third string point guard, behind Rafer Alston and Jose Calderon.

However, the Raps will have to look elsewhere for their third-string point guard needs.

"I talked to Tabuse's representative and it seems he's already committed to the L.A. Clippers," Babcock said yesterday.

However, former Duke University star Jay Williams is still in the picture.

The Raps have offered Williams a non-guaranteed contract for about $640,000, which is close to their salary cap limit.

Williams has been travelling to various NBA cities the past week, working out for teams such as the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and the Raptors.

Despite the fact that he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in 2003, which resulted in a fractured pelvis and torn knee ligaments, Babcock was impressed with the 2002 U.S. college player of the year.

Williams averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 assists for the Chicago Bulls as a rookie.

MLSEL CHIPS IN

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment donated $50,000 yesterday to the Canadian Red Cross in support of relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

MLSE has also added links to the Canadian Red Cross on the websites of its three teams -- the Raptors, the Maple Leafs and Marlies -- to enable fans visiting the team's sites to make donations directly to aid relief efforts.


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