Raptors playing the numbers game

MIKE GANTER, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:14 PM ET

TORONTO - Leandro Barbosa was numberless for yesterday’s practice. The former Phoenix Suns had the No. 28 given to him but made it very clear on Tuesday that it wouldn’t be around long. Barbosa has since decided to change to No. 20, a number that has been worn by some very good Raptors in years past. Damon Stoudamire was the first to wear it before Alvin Williams took it over. From Alvin it was on to Fred Jones very briefly before Carlos Delfino had it for a season before moving on to Milwaukee.

MAN OF MULTIPLE HATS

Strange sight at practice yesterday was Williams running off the floor following the end of practice in sweats with a European carry-all slung over his shoulder.

Williams is now a two-hat man in the organization, continuing his on-court role of a year ago while adding a board-room role as the newly promoted director of player development and was on his way to a meeting.

“We’re trying to get him one of those clip-on ties so he can do it a lot quicker and snap it on as he goes,” head coach Jay Triano joked of Williams sprint to the board room Wednesday.

NO RUSH TO LABEL ANYONE

Triano said he will likely not even begin playing with consistent line combinations until the team gets to Vancouver this weekend.

“We put a bunch of plays in Tuesday but as far as who is in the lineup and who is on the floor with each other we are just going to let that evolve. We just have a mix right now and I can’t see us putting together any kind of starting five or anything until we get into Vancouver. There’s no need. We’re not in a hurry to do that and we want a lot of guys to be able to play with a lot of other guys. We don’t want to pigeon-hole guys into positions.”

STILL IN THE RUNNING?

A report on the Milwaukee Journal Times.com has free agent centre Erick Dampier paying both the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks a visit this week as he decides on a place to play this season.

Dampier had been thought to be a lock to join the Miami Heat, but that fell through this week while the Houston Rockets, another expected suitor, already have Yao Ming and Brad Miller in the fold making them less appealing to Dampier. In Toronto, Dampier would allow the Raptors to start Andrea Bargnani at power forward instead of starting him at centre.


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