Is MoPete trade bait?

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

Morris Peterson's ugly season continued with a new development last night.

The Raptors swingman, who returned to Toronto for shootaround yesterday morning after not arriving back for practice Tuesday night, sat out with a sore right hamstring last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Air Canada Centre.

Peterson, who said a post-Christmas break flight delay was the reason for his tardiness, did not mention the possibility of sitting out because of injury after morning shootaround, raising speculation about the veteran's future with the Raptors.

With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Peterson could be trade bait for Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo.

Peterson said he expected to be fined for missing practice Tuesday night.

"I would think so," he said. "It will (cost him money)."

The NBA's ironman entering the season with the most consecutive games played in the league, Peterson lost his spot in the starting lineup early in the campaign and then missed seven games with a left elbow injury.

When he has played, the longest-serving Raptor has struggled, averaging 11.9 points (well down from last season's career-best average of 16.8). His three-point percentage also is down, to 36.6% from 39.5%.

Peterson, whose fitness level has been questioned this season, has been the fourth man in the swingman rotation, behind starters Joey Graham and Anthony Parker and backup Fred Jones.


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