What could have been

FRANK ZICARELLI

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

The Raptors had a chance to lure respected executive John Hammond to Toronto back in 2004, but decided on Rob Babcock instead.

No one knows for sure what the Raptors would have looked like with Hammond running the show.

History, though, wasn't kind on Babcock, whose major move, the trading of franchise player Vince Carter to New Jersey for virtually nothing, eventually cost Babcock his job.

Hammond was officially named GM of the Milwaukee Bucks last night as the team played in Boston, a move that is long overdue for one of the game's top officials.

Hammond has served as Joe Dumars' right-hand man, overseeing some shrewd trades and draft picks that have made the Detroit Pistons among the model franchises in the NBA.

When the Raptors went looking for Glen Grunwald's replacement, everyone with the smallest of basketball knowledge began to tout Hammond.

Unfortunately, the powers that be at MLSE went with Babcock, who lasted two years.

Who knows what would have happened, but it's safe to say Hammond would have done a better job.

Heck, Carter may still be a Raptor.

Three years after his trade to the swamps, Carter continues to get booed by the ACC crowd.

GET YOUR TICKETS

The Raptors announced yesterday that a limited amount of tickets will be available today beginning at 11 a.m. for the first two home playoff dates.

Tickets will be available by phone -- (416) 872-5000 -- online at www.raptors.com or through Ticketmaster.

Be advised that tickets will not be sold through the ACC box office for first-day sales.

There is a limit of four tickets per game.


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