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Raptors close to acquiring Barbosa, Diaw and Chandler

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The Associated Press/Files from Yahoo! Sports
7/13/2010 12:39:46 AM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte Bobcats centre Tyson Chandler said Monday night he's been told he's being traded to the Raptors amid a report Toronto is also poised to send Hedo Turkoglu to the Phoenix Suns.

Chandler wrote in an email to The Associated Press that his agent, Jeff Schwartz, informed him that he's being traded. A Bobcats spokesman said no deal is complete, and general manager Rod Higgins didn't return messages seeking comment.

Multiple league sources told Yahoo! Sports that Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is holding up a potential deal because he's hesitant to trade Chandler.

“Right now, Michael is having second thoughts,” a source told Yahoo! Sports, but said that the trade isn't dead.

The Toronto Star reported the Suns would get Turkoglu and send guard Leandro Barbosa to the Raptors. Toronto would then move guard Jose Calderon and forward Reggie Evans to Charlotte for Chandler and forward Boris Diaw. The report said the complicated deal is pending league approval and could also include a trade exception for Charlotte.

The trade would help the Raptors rebuild after losing Chris Bosh to Miami in free agency. Turkoglu would get a new start after his disappointing one year in Toronto and the Suns would acquire a playmaker after losing free agent Amare Stoudemire to New York.

Calderon would give Charlotte a starting point guard after Raymond Felton signed with the Knicks. Dumping Chandler's US$12.7 million salary would give owner Michael Jordan's team flexibility to make future moves.

"Yes I was told that I am being traded," Chandler wrote. "To be honest I don't have much to say now except I'm excited about the upcoming season. I feel great and I know it will be a good one."

Chandler's agent and Lon Babby, agent for Turkoglu didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

If the deal goes through, Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo will be reunited with Barbosa and Diaw from his days in Phoenix. It will also mean the Raptors will unload Turkoglu and the $40 million still due on his contract signed last year when he left Orlando in free agency.

Turkoglu's numbers declined last season. He was held out of a game late last season after he was seen out on the town hours after sitting out a game complaining of a stomach virus. But the Suns expect Turkoglu to regain his scoring form from his last two seasons in Orlando.

The speedy Barbosa would help the Raptors move to a more uptempo offence without Bosh.

Charlotte deemed Diaw, due $18 million over the next two seasons, expendable after giving Tyrus Thomas a $40-million, five-year deal. Thomas, who signed the contract on Monday amid rumblings of the trade, is expected to replace Diaw in the starting power forward spot.

"I've started over 100 games in my career, playoffs," said Thomas, acquired from Chicago in February. "Me starting is nothing new to me. ... I'm happy to be able to come back and play for the Bobcats and coach (Larry) Brown."

Calderon would provide Charlotte with a better shooter than Felton, whom the Bobcats made no attempt to re-sign because they were so close to paying the luxury tax, a figure Jordan said they wouldn't exceed.

Calderon, who averaged 10.3 points and 5.9 assists last season, has been criticized in the past for his defence, an area the demanding Brown stresses. He's also still due about $30 million over the next three seasons.

Evans, due $5 million next season, would give the Bobcats more depth up front.

Chandler had an injury-plagued season in Charlotte after being acquired from New Orleans for Emeka Okafor last summer. He decided not to opt out of the final year of his contract last month and become a free agent.

"I'm not sure what other deals they have going on," Chandler said of the Raptors. "But I feel like anywhere I go healthy I'll fit in."

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