Brezec expects time

MIKE GANTER

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

Primoz Brezec initially was not thrilled with the idea of switching teams for the second time in nine weeks, but a conversation with Bryan Colangelo changed all that.

The Raptors general manager promised him something he wasn't getting in Detroit and that was an opportunity. Weighing the merits of the opportunity against a better than solid chance of playing for a championship and Brezec got right to work packing his bags.

"There was no playing time for me," Brezec said of his short stint in Detroit. "In a month and a half, two months, I didn't get one chance. All I got was garbage time. That's not me, man. I've been a starter in this game and I know I can play so I'm not going to sit on the bench. I can guarantee you that."

Having said that, Brezec admitted he had yet to have a conversation with head coach Sam Mitchell regarding his role. As it stands, he is one of four centres on a team that starts Andrea Bargnani, goes to Brezec's fellow Slovenian Rasho Nesterovic first off the bench and then has Kris Humphries waiting in the wings. Where Brezec fits into that rotation will be determined over the next couple of weeks.

Brezec, though, did make a quality first impression by refusing to wait for the team in Toronto after his physical yesterday and insisting on boarding a flight to New York where he arrived just after 5 p.m.

He was at the arena 40 minutes later and rushed into some workout clothes to join his new teammates on the court as they got warm for the game.

Raptors assistant GM Maurizio Gherardini has known the seven-footer since Brezec was just a kid. He is convinced Brezec will prove useful in Toronto particularly once the season heads towards its conclusion and the physical style becomes more prevalent.


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