Raptors trade bust Araujo to Jazz for two

Updated: June 8, 2006, 9:07 PM ET
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Jazz are bringing former Brigham Young center Rafael Araujo back to the state where he starred in college.

The Jazz traded forward Kris Humphries and rarely used center Robert Whaley to the Toronto Raptors for Araujo and cash on Thursday.

Center
Toronto Raptors

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
52 2.3 2.8 0.3 .366 .536

The deal was basically an exchange of two former first-round picks from the 2004 draft that so far have not panned out in the NBA.

Toronto took Araujo, the Mountain West Conference co-player of the year, with the No. 8 overall pick in the draft. The Jazz selected Humphries, the freshman of the year in the Big Ten, six spots later. Araujo has averaged 2.9 points and three rebounds in 111 NBA games with the Raptors and Humphries has averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 129 games.

Toronto fans often booed the 6-foot-10 Araujo, who said in a conference call he welcomed the move back to Utah.

"I cannot say I'm a different player. I think I'm just more mature," Araujo said. "Sometimes it doesn't work for you how you think it should be working."

Araujo plans to return to Utah for the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league, then play for the Brazilian national team. He's spending the early summer in southern California, where he is working out with a trainer and improve his conditioning.

He'll need it to play for Utah coach Jerry Sloan.

The Jazz hope giving Araujo another chance fills a need Utah has at center. Jarron Collins, who started half the season at center, is a free agent and backup Greg Ostertag announced after the season he would retire. Whaley, who can also play forward, played in just 23 games last season.

"We wish Rafael well and feel this will be a positive move for both teams," Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo said.

Colangelo replaced Rob Babcock, who was fired in January by the Raptors in part because of Araujo's struggles.

Araujo will be playing about 45 miles north of Provo, where he played two seasons at BYU and averaged 18.4 points and 10.1 rebounds in 2003-04. He shot 57 percent from the field and made 72 percent of his free throws.

"One day fans boo you. Another day fans cheer you," he said. "I think that's part of sports."

Trading Humphries left Utah with Deron Williams (2005) and Andrei Kirilenko (1999) as the only players taken by the Jazz in the first round who are still with the team.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press