Coming off one of his best games as a pro, Charlie Villanueva was honoured for his work in December yesterday.
The Raptors forward was named the NBA's Eastern Conference rookie of the month, four days after he capped December with 25 points and 10 rebounds in a 99-97 win over the Indiana Pacers.
The seventh overall pick in the 2005 draft, who is third among the league's rookie scorers, averaged 14.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in December. Three other Raptors have won the East's rookie of the month award -- Vince Carter (March and April 1999), Marcus Camby (March 1997) and Damon Stoudamire (November 1995 and January 1996).
NOT INTERESTED FOR NOW
Ex-Duke point guard Jay Williams, who was on the Raptors' radar screen when he contemplated a return to basketball this past summer, is not of interest to the team at the moment.
Williams' agent said recently the player is ready to return to the NBA, more than two years after suffering severe nerve damage to his foot following a motorcycle accident on June 19, 2003. But Raptors general manger Rob Babcock doesn't see Williams as a fit for his roster right now.
"He's somebody we're following, but we're not doing anything right now," Babcock said. "There is nothing scheduled. If we have a need (Williams) would be a consideration. It just depends on if a need arises."
NO ROOM FOR SOW
With Pape Sow tearing up the D-League, there has been speculation the Raptors will call him up from their affiliate in Arkansas. But coach Sam Mitchell said he doesn't have any minutes to give Sow unless the team makes a roster move.
"All I can do is when asked, explain to people how I use guys," Mitchell said. "There's not minutes there. If you want minutes for him, some decisions are going to have to be made that I'm glad I don't have to make. It's not my job."
Unless the Raptors send ex-first round pick Rafael Araujo down, Sow may be stuck.
Babcock said second-round pick Roko Ukic is practising with Tau Ceramica in Spain again after suffering a kidney injury last month.