Raps' Ford drawing interest

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

The market for T.J. Ford is heating up.

Though neither Toronto president/general manager Bryan Colangelo or anybody else would go into details about the subject yesterday after six prospects were put through the paces ahead of the upcoming NBA draft, it was clear that the club has received genuine interest from a handful of teams about the diminutive point guard.

Colangelo rubbed shoulders with other general manger's at last week's draft camp in Orlando and it's likely the names of both Ford and restricted free agent Jose Calderon came up.

Colangelo did reiterate that Calderon would be hard to pry loose as it seems there is significant interest around the league in both players.

The team has been confident all along that strong offers would come in for Ford, despite his perceived flaws and injury history, simply because the NBA trade market is not exactly littered with starting-calibre young point guards signed to reasonable deals.

Colangelo, head coach Sam Mitchell and a bevy of team brass began their pre-draft workouts by putting six guards through a rigorous workout, of which the media got to see far more than usual, thanks to the participants' late night arrivals, which pushed the start time back.

The Raptors, who hold the 17th pick in the June 26 draft, worked out Western Kentucky's Courtney Lee, Oregon's Malik Hairston, North Carolina's Wayne Ellington and Danny Green, Mississippi State's Jamont Gordon and Vanderbilt's Shan Foster.

Though all but Lee currently are projected as second-round selections and Toronto does not hold a second-round pick, director of player personnel Jim Kelly said the team has "got to be prepared for anything," and as "a fairly active team on the trade market," could well make a move to acquire a second round pick.

SHIP ONE FOR CASH

A team like Seattle, which owns four 2008 seconds, probably would ship one out for cash, or a Ford deal might include one.

Last season, the Raptors traded away this year's pick for Giorgos Printezis, a young big man who now is playing extremely well for Olympiakos in the Greek League finals, and went on to trade two more future seconds for guard Carlos Delfino.


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