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Raps TV analysts agree: Vince trade good for team Do talking heads believe their talk? CHRIS ZELKOVICH SPORTS MEDIA COLUMNIST That was a heck of a trade the Toronto Raptors made, wasn't it? They got rid of a guy who was a liability on defence, who was faking injuries and whose level of play and commitment to the team had deteriorated badly. In return, they got two guys who are already committed to the Raptors and two draft picks that could be cashed in for better players down the road. How do I know this, even though there are claims that the Raptors were fleeced on this deal and all but gave away Vince Carter? I know because I watch Toronto Raptors basketball. That was the message that came through loud and clear over the weekend. On Friday, announcers Chuck Swirsky and Jack Armstrong agreed wholeheartedly that GM Rob Babcock had received fair value for his disgruntled superstar. "The market value for Vince Carter dropped considerably over the last five, six months," Swirsky said. Armstrong agreed, assuring fans, "You're getting people who want to buy in" to the Raptor system. He then proceeded to criticize Carter's performance in the past three seasons, adding, "He has to look in the mirror." "Don't judge the trade tonight," Swirsky cautioned fans. "Judge it down the road." Later, after defending Carter and praising his community work, Swirsky pronounced it "a good deal. I have a lot of faith in the general manager." Yesterday, the analyst had changed but the consensus hadn't. "A lot of people are saying (Babcock) should have got more for Vince Carter," Leo Rautins said. "Well, tell me what else was out there." Rautins, like Armstrong, then proceeded to knock Carter's contributions, particularly on defence. "You're always playing five-on-four when he's on the floor," Rautins noted. He wondered aloud how Carter could have played so well at the all-star game despite being out with an injury beforehand. Funny, but I don't recall hearing much of that prior to Carter's becoming an ex-Raptor. Now, it is possible that these guys really believe these things. They may not agree with ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, who told TSN Friday that "it would appear that Mr. Babcock had dropped the ball," before adding that the Raptors were "notoriously cheap." Hats off to TSN, by the way, for airing such an interview. Here's the problem when the broadcasters are team employees and the team controls the broadcasts: How do we know they really believe this? Not that those whose paycheques are signed by others went overboard to question the deal. TSN's Brian Heaney said yesterday that the pair coming in exchange will help the Raptors' inside game. TSN's Rod Black did ask Babcock at halftime if this was the best he could get, but didn't exactly look like Mike Wallace in dropping the matter after Babcock said it was. Maybe the Raptors voices really, honestly believe that this was the best deal the team could make. But questions about that will always be asked, especially when the voices of dissent are few, or in this case non-existent.