Colangelo on the clock

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

DALLAS -- The clock is ticking for Bryan Colangelo.

The Phoenix Suns president/general manager is expected to decide by the end of the weekend whether he wants to become the Raptors' new president of basketball operations/general manager, but he continued to fulfill his duties with his current NBA organization last night.

Colangelo was scheduled to attend a charity dinner with incoming Suns owner Robert Sarver last night, about 24 hours after a negotiating session between the two men. Sarver has given the reigning NBA executive of the year a deadline of Tuesday to decide if he wants to jump ship to the Raptors. Sarver granted permission for Colangelo to talk to the Raptors and it is believed he would let him walk away from his current contract, which expires after next season.

Coincidentally, the Raptors and team president Richard Peddie return home from a road swing Tuesday and it would be a lovely day to unveil a new leader.

People around Colangelo in the Suns organization have been pushing for him to stay. However, Colangelo doesn't have a great relationship with Sarver, who is paying him three times less than the Raptors' proposed $3 million US annual salary.

In the meantime, the Raptors continue to conduct business in a relatively calm and peaceful environment under interim GM Wayne Embry. That wasn't always the case during predecessor Rob Babcock's 1 1/2-season tenure.

Embry and coach Sam Mitchell have a strong relationship, but a new GM like Colangelo wouldn't have the same close ties with the coach. Will it be harder for Mitchell to develop a good relationship with an unfamiliar boss?

"I've never been in that situation before," Mitchell said. "We're all speculating about what's going to happen. All I can do is coach the team, do the best job I can with the team I have. Hopefully the person who comes in recognizes that. Hopefully that person is comfortable with me and what I'm trying to do and what I am as a coach. And if not, they've got to do what they've got to do."

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Mitchell stressed yesterday that successful organizations feature GMs and owners who see eye-to-eye with their coach. He pointed to the Raptors' opponents today, the Western Conference-leading Dallas Mavericks, as a perfect example.

"(Coach) Avery (Johnson) has done an unbelievable job ... and he has got (owner) Mark Cuban as his biggest supporter," Mitchell said. "When the owner of the team is your biggest supporter and the players understand that, they're going to buy in or they're going to have to go somewhere else. Dallas is a good organization and the (players) don't want to go anywhere (else). They do what the coach asks them to do."

Today marks the fourth game of the Raptors' five-game trip, which concludes Monday in Miami against the Heat. separated


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