Toronto Star: As rumours swirl and speculation mounts concerning Antonio Davis's future with the Toronto Raptors, the veteran power forward is expected to be around when training camp begins in less than a month.
Or maybe not.
"He will, in all likelihood, be with our team," general manager Glen Grunwald said yesterday of Davis, the soon-to-be-36-year-old who is the team's highest-paid player.
But that less-than-ringing endorsement of Davis' security with the team has to lend some credence to suggestions a deal is in the works. And sources around the league say Grunwald may not be actively shopping the 6-foot-10, 230-pounder but he sure isn't telling would-be suitors that Davis is not available.
The general manager offered his standard, "I don't discuss trade rumours" yesterday when the subject of a three-team deal involving Davis, the Portland Trail Blazers and the New Jersey Nets was broached but he also trotted out another of his favourite lines concerning roster moves:
"We're always looking at ways to improve our team."
However, that won't be the three-team deal that would have sent Davis and Kenyon Martin to Portland with Rasheed Wallace ending up in New Jersey and Dikembe Mutombo winding up in Toronto, along with other salary-cap ballast moving between the teams.
While it was discussed seriously at the highest levels, according to team and league sources, it hasn't been alive for about a week, NBA sources say, because the suddenly cost-conscious Blazers balked at assuming two large salaries. The previously free-spending owner Paul Allen has set strict new spending guidelines in Portland and the team laid off more than two dozen front office employees this summer.
But whether Toronto renews its interest in Mutombo, or Wallace, for that matter, fans can be assured that Davis' name will continue to pop up in trade rumours
New Jersey trades...
KENYON MARTIN and DIKEMBE MUTOMBO
Portland trades Rasheed Wallace for Antonio Davis and Kenyon Martin
New Jersey trades Kenyon Martin and Dikembe Mutombo for Rasheed Wallace
Toronto trades Antonio Davis for Dikembe Mutombo