Raptors Ready To Push Forward Largely Unchanged

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What you see is what you get.

With just a minor tweak at back-up point guard, the Toronto Raptors are moving ahead with a pat hand.

Yesterday in the shadow of the NBA trade deadline the club added 27-year-old Sebastian Telfair from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a conditional second-rounder and centre Hamed Haddadi.

Haddadi is a holdover from the deal that brought Rudy Gay to Toronto from Memphis.

Telfair is on an expiring contract but nicely fills a need for a pass-inclined point guard behind starter Kyle Lowry and shot-happy John Lucas III.

Telfair averaged six points, 2.5 assists and 17.3 minutes per game with the Suns and his departure seems to be a result of a desire to see more of rookie Kendal Marshall. He has played for Portland, Boston, Minnesota, the Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland and Phoenix.

No real surprise that the move GM Bryan Colangelo was oft-expected to make, the trade of Andrea Bargnani, didn’t materialize.

Bargnani didn’t’ score at all in Wednesday’s loss to Memphis and if you are going to showcase a player he will need far more than the 22 minutes and four shots he delivered against the Grizzlies. Likewise his nine-point night against Washington in the first game post-all star.

For now, Bargnani remains another big off the bench.

The Raptors, meanwhile, sit five games behind eighth-place Milwaukee and 1.5 games behind ninth-place Philadelphia. They are 22-33 with 27 games left to play. Fourteen of those contests will be played on the road. The Raptors will play Milwaukee twice, both times on the road, March 2 and April 6.

With a record of 6-3, the Raptors have produced at a .666 clip since the acquisition of Rudy Gay.

The good news is identical production would leave the team with 18 wins and a 40-42 overall record, a slate that should put the Raptors in a dead heat for the eighth playoff spot.

Gay has delivered 6.77 rebounds and 20.22 points a night in the nine games.

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