NEWS
11/01/2015 21:32 EST | Updated 11/01/2016 01:12 EDT

Greivis Vasquez makes first return to Toronto after being traded in off-season

TORONTO — Greivis Vasquez knew change would come following the Raptors' first-round loss to the Washington Wizards last spring, but it didn't make the trade any easier.

The Venezuelan point guard was dealt by Toronto in June for the draft rights to Norman Powell and a protected 2017 first-round draft pick.

On Sunday he made his first trip back to Air Canada Centre since the trade.

"It was hard to swallow the whole thing, but it's a new opportunity," said Vasquez. "I'm excited. This is kind of personal."

Toronto finished last season with a 49-33 regular-season record, winning a second consecutive Atlantic Division title along the way, but were unable to build on the previous season's playoff experience —losing in four straight to the Wizards.

"We really didn't do a good job at the end of the season so it was either going to be me or Lou (Williams) and it was both (and) Amir (Johnson)," said Vasquez. "It was tough because we had something really good. As you guys know we were the No. 1 team in the east for 61 days and everyone started expecting so much out of us and we didn't fulfill those expectations."

In two seasons with the Raptors Vasquez averaged 9.5 points per-game and 3.7 assists while appearing in 143 games.

Entering Sunday's action Vasquez was averaging 7.5 points per-game and five assists while coming off the bench in a pair of Milwaukee losses.

"He's a veteran guy, which is much needed on our team being one of the youngest teams in the league," said Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. "He's a competitor and a winner, we're happy to have him on our side."

Prior to entering the game with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter, Vasquez received a hug from Raptors coach Dwane Casey on the sideline. Then as his name was announced as a substitution, he received a round of applause from the 19,800 in attendance.

Vasquez finished the night 2 for 7 from the field and 5-of-5 at the free throw line for nine points and four assists in 25 minutes as the Bucks fell 106-87 to the Raptors.

"I miss the city, I miss the fans, but it's a part of the business, you've got to move on," Vasquez said. "It was hard because I was so engaged with the city and the fans and with the team, but it's part of the business so you've got to move on real fast."

As much as Vasquez misses Toronto, he feels the fit in Milwaukee will be more beneficial in the long run.

"I like this opportunity a little bit better than the one that I had (with the Raptors)," he said. "I have more responsibilities here so it's going to help my game overall."

Dhien Mahiban, The Canadian Press