Welcome back, Pape

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

PORTLAND -- For some reason, Pape Sow is back with the Raptors.

There is no playing time, no active roster spot and no glaring need for another big man.

But general manager Rob Babcock decided yesterday to call up Sow from the Arkansas RimRockers of the D-League, rewarding the second-year pro for his two months of fine work in Little Rock. He rejoined the team as an inactive player for a game last night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I'm not concerned at all (about a potential lack of playing time for the native of Senegal)," Babcock said before rhyming off two reasons why he called up Sow.

"One, we need to re-evaluate Pape as a player. He has done very well in the NBDL and he has gained some confidence and we have to see how he fits in with this basketball team. The second thing is it's very important for Pape to come back and re-connect with (the Raptors)."

But he figures to be doing his re-connecting in a suit on a bench. Coach Sam Mitchell kept the 6-foot-10 centre/forward as an inactive player last night and, barring something unforeseen, there are no plans to elevate Sow to the active roster.

The only minutes available for a big man are the 12 or so that Rafael Araujo plays every night. Araujo, another project, is eligible to go to the D-League, like all first- or second-year players. But that's not happening at the moment.

"Not at this time, not right now," Babcock said.

Sow, a friendly young man, was third in D-League scoring with 19.7 points and averaged a league-best 11.6 rebounds in 18 games. A second-round pick in 2004, Sow is hoping he'll eventually get his chance in Toronto. He played just 27 games last season.

"Every player dreams about playing in the NBA," Sow said. "That's why you work every time hard to try to get over here. If I get minutes, it's going to be good. If I don't, I can't worry about it."

Babcock said Mitchell has free reign to do whatever he wants with Sow.


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