Something smells fishy

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

John Salmons may not become a Raptor after all.

The Philadelphia 76ers swingman, who was supposed to join the Raptors officially yesterday in a sign-and-trade deal after point guard Andre Barrett cleared waivers, remained in limbo last night thanks to an unknown snag in the transaction.

Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo declined comment on the Salmons issue. It is believed Salmons was scheduled to take a physical in Toronto yesterday, though there was no confirmation of that.

The deal, which had the Raptors shipping a second-round pick and a $2-million US trade exception to the 76ers, was expected to be one of the team's final moves in a busy summer. News of the expected Salmons signing broke last Thursday, with his agent, Joel Bell, saying the Raptors' hiring of Colangelo was a big factor in his client's decision to pick Toronto over the Phoenix Suns. Bell could not be reached for comment last night.

If the deal does not go through, the Raptors will have some more money this summer. Salmons was on the verge of signing a five-year, $23-million deal.

Phoenix Suns guard Eddie House, who was on the Raptors' radar before Salmons had agreed to join the team, could become a possibility again. The New Jersey Nets also are believed to be interested in House.

Meanwhile, Spanish forward Jorge Garbajosa is on the verge of signing a three-year deal worth about $12 million with the Raptors. The announcement could come as soon as today. Garbajosa is with the Spanish national team preparing for the world championship next month.

Also, as expected, the Raptors are believed to have come to a verbal agreement with 2005 second-round pick Uros Slokar, a Slovenian forward. Slokar told a Slovenian news outlet yesterday he will sign with the Raptors. After Pape Sow injured his neck at summer league and underwent surgery, the Raptors began negotiating with Slokar.

Swingman P.J. Tucker, the team's second-round pick this year, also is expected to sign with the Raptors before training camp.


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