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Babcock Trying To Play Santa? - Rosy Christmas Rumours and a Look At Tonight's Matchup vs. The Spurs

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While RaptorsHQ will be out of commission for the next few days with Christmas in full effect, the rumour mill has been churning too rapidly lately to not get one last post up before Christmas. With the Raptors in San Antonio tonight to try and win their 4th straight on the road, back in Toronto, it sounds like Rob Babcock is pondering swinging a deal.

The rumour out of New York is that the Knicks are considering dealing Anfernee Hardaway to the Raptors for Jalen Rose and possibly a draft pick or cash. This deal has been reported in various forms the past few years but with the Knicks struggling and their scouts recently scouting the Raps, it seems like the deal is back on the table. Some members of the US Sports Media feel however that Morris Peterson, who has played maybe the best basketball of his career to date, may in fact be the Knicks' target.

In any event, ESPN.com's Insider had this to say today:

No Pick, No Trade
Dec 23 - The New York Post reports, if the Raptors want to eradicate Jalen Rose's $16.9 million salary next season from their cap, they have but one viable option: Furnish the Knicks with the Nuggets' No. 1 pick stashed from the Nets' shoplifting of Vince Carter. A Toronto source tells the newspaper the pick is on the table, but not without limits: "The unanswered question is how deep into the draft will it be protected from year to year." The same source doesn't feel an agreement or ultimate disagreement is imminent.
While Rose can still score, scouts say he's one of the league's worst defenders. One Knick decision-maker told The Post in November that it would be "crazy" to take Rose as is. A league official said the Knicks were still seeking more assets, including a first-round pick.

The Lakers have interest in Rose. That's a confirmed fact, according to the newspaper.

The New York Knicks are currently a mess and may be desperate to make some changes. Therefore it may be the best time for GM Rob Babcock to commemorate Knicks GM Isiah Thomas' 2 year GM anniversary...with yet another fleecing. If Babcock could deal Jalen without giving up any draft picks or prospects, it would go a long way to getting Eric Williams some playing time and Joey Graham an opportunity to play more minutes. This only makes further sense if the Raptors are looking to draft a swing-man from next year's crop of talent...they might as well get rid of Jalen now if possible. However I still don't know why the Knicks would make this trade, even with Denver's pick being part of the trade. The Knicks have serious chemistry, role and playing time issues as is and Rose is NOT the solution.

In the meantime, the Raptors have to concentrate on the task at hand, that is tonight's matchup with the defending NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have had injury concerns of late and have not been as dominant as their revamped lineup should have allowed however this WILL be a tough test for the Raptors. The Spurs are deep at each position, are one of the league's best defensive teams and Chris Bosh will face a tough test downlow faced off against his idol Tim Duncan. CB4 has played well against Duncan in the past however it will be imperative for him to get help from his teammates in particular the Raptor bigs like Rafael Araujo and CV Smooth.

Over the Christmas break Raptor fans will for sure be keeping their ears to the ground for any developments with the Jalen situation as will we. If Babcock can secure Penny's expiring contract without giving up too much it would be another solid move for the future and yet another gift Babcock can pull out of his Santa sack to give to the Raptors.

HO HO HO

FRANCHISE