Rose thinks he's on way out

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

SAN ANTONIO -- Jalen Rose is not going anywhere just yet.

But the struggling Raptors swingman feels it may be a matter of time before he is dealt as his team has had discussions with the New York Knicks and, possibly, the Los Angeles Lakers about Rose.

In an e-mail to the New York Post that appeared in yesterday's editions, Rose said, "I feel something will happen soon ... Then back to the States."

Rose wouldn't go quite that far when talking with Toronto reporters before a game against the San Antonio Spurs last night, but the highest-paid player on the team feels it might make sense for the Raptors to ship him out.

"It just comes with the territory," Rose said when asked about the rumours, which started last season and continue to this day. "Obviously, the opportunity I'm getting minutes-wise and things of that nature, it probably haven't been that way for me as a player since the late 1990s. If you're looking at it from that factor, probably it would suggest that something may happen.

"But who knows? Like a lot of people say, who would trade for me? Nobody wants me."

The savvy Rose smiled while saying that, clearly referring to all the negative reviews that have been written about him recently. Before last night's loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Rose, whose contract expires after next season, was averaging just 16.8 minutes the past five games and 24.9 for the season, down from 33.5 last season.

Rose, who avoids answering when asked if he wants to be traded, had an interesting response when asked if he feels he is auditioning for other teams.

"I don't know what kind of audition that would be," Rose said. "How could you audition really for a part when you're not really getting an opportunity to read the script?"

The most prominent rumour has the Knicks sending the expiring, rich contract of Penny Hardaway to the Raptors for Rose and a first-round pick. The Lakers also are believed to have some interest in Rose.

But Raptors general manager Rob Babcock said nothing is imminent when asked about trades in general.

"It usually dies down around this time," Babcock said. "It's not a great time to do a trade. There is a little bit of an unwritten rule that you don't trade a guy on Christmas or his birthday. You don't want to do something the day before Christmas. It is just too unsettling."


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