But GM expects Vince to honor contract
TORONTO -- All-Star guard Vince Carter wants out of Toronto, but the Raptors' new general manager says he isn't going anywhere.
"It doesn't change anything with us," Rob Babcock told The Associated Press on Thursday. "He's under contract with our team. We expect him to fulfill all obligations of the contract."
In his strongest remarks yet, Carter told the Toronto Star in Thursday's editions that "It's time for the truth: I want to be traded." Carter also said in a letter to fans posted on his Web site that he's not eager to wait while the team rebuilds.
"My frustration comes from the fact that we have not been able to create an equation to win ballgames," Carter wrote. "I am at the point in my career where I do not have time to wait two to four years for a team to mature."
Carter remains one of the NBA's most popular players because of his highlight-reel dunks, but he has lost some of his explosiveness over the last four years because of knee injuries.
Babcock, hired in June, acknowledged the trade demand is an "issue" for the franchise, but he said "it's not really an issue" because he's under contract.
"Is it the ideal way going to camp? No," Babcock said. "But it's really not the nightmare that other people think it is. Would I'd rather he was here without making any public statements and that he was 100 percent behind everything here, yeah absolutely, but he's under contract and I think Vince is a good person, and I think he'll be professional and do what he's supposed to do and fulfill his job."
Babcock hopes the five-time All-Star will give his new regime a chance. The Raptors haven't made the playoffs the past two seasons and Sam Mitchell will be Carter's third coach in three years.
"If he comes in with an open mind that's all we want," Babcock said. "He hasn't had an opportunity to play under this system and see what it's like to be a part of this basketball team. This is a whole new era."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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