Nervous times for Raps

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

MEMPHIS -- Mike James and Eric Williams are walking on pins and needles with the NBA trade deadline just one day away. But for different reasons.

One wants out and the other wants to stay.

NBA teams have until tomorrow (3 p.m. EST) to trade players and both Raptors are apprehensive.

Williams has made it no secret that he desperately wants the Raptors to send him elsewhere while James is hoping the team decides not to trade him.

"Definitely (I want to stay)," James said last night. "It's hard when you get traded in the middle of a season, you've got to learn a new system, you have to figure out new faces ... that's not an easy thing to do. I wouldn't mind spending the rest of the season here."

Raptors management faces a tough decision concerning James. If they trade him, they get something in return. If they let him jump ship as a free agent this summer, then they get nothing for him.

But head coach Sam Mitchell suggested yesterday that James, who is averaging a career-high 17.9 points and a team-leading 5.4 assists per game, is not going anywhere. Not this season at least.

"Anything can happen, but we're going to try to do the right things for all our players," Mitchell said.

The right thing as far as Williams is concerned, is for the Raptors to ship his disgruntled butt out of town. Williams, who was traded to Toronto last season in the Vince Carter deal, is getting little playing time as the Raptors play their young players more and more.

"Definitely, I'd be disappointed (if I'm not traded), because I want to play basketball," Williams said. "I know I can play and I know I'm not going to get the minutes here. And If this organization can do something, I would love it, I'd appreciate it.

"I just want don't want my career to be stagnated like it has."


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