Raptors go Greek

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo pulled the trigger on a deal long after the NBA draft ended last night.

The Raptors did not have a draft pick for the first time in team history, but Colangelo acquired 6-foot-8 Greek forward Giorgos Printezis -- who was selected by the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs with the 58th pick last night -- for a second-round selection in 2008.

Printezis, 22, is such a fringe selection that his bio did not even appear in the official NBA draft media guide.

The native of Athens played for Olympia Larissa last season and, according to various reports, wowed many NBA scouts at the 2007 Eurocamp.

Other than that last-minute move, the Raptors decided not to trade for a draft pick -- even though Colangelo had several offers.

"A couple of the (offers) that were top-10, or near there, were (deals) we felt were just a little too rich for the value that was coming back," Colangelo said. "Particularly one deal that we would have had to obtain, or take an (existing) contract. That was going to be a little bit problematic.

"Having said that, we like what we have (already) with this team.

"It got down to a point where there were very few players (in the draft) that we were excited about," he said. "We were targeting one or two players specifically but, beyond that, we weren't that interested in jumping in."

Colangelo, the 2006-07 NBA executive of the year, has identified small forward as the position that needs the most upgrading on the Raptors, especially with veteran swingman Morris Peterson expected to be leaving town.

To fill that void, he will now go out and attempt to sign a player via the free-agency route. Teams can start negotiating with free agents starting Sunday morning. Some free agents who have been mentioned as possible replacements for Peterson at small forward include Michael Pietrus of Golden State, Orlando's Grant Hill and Luke Walton of the L.A. Lakers.


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