Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Updated: July 7, 7:48 PM ET
Sources: Street-ball legend agrees to 6-year deal
By Marc Stein
Rafer Alston, whose transformation from a street-ball legend to a playoff point guard with Miami proved one of the season's more uplifting stories, has reached a verbal agreement with the Toronto Raptors on a six-year deal believed to be worth up to $29 million, league sources told ESPN.com.
After stints with Milwaukee and Toronto, Alston broke through with the Heat, averaging 10.2 points and nearly five assists per game while shooting a healthy 37.1 percent from 3-point range.
Miami had hoped to re-sign the guard widely known as Skip To My Lou for his role in the And1 Mix Tape series, but the Heat was reportedly hoping to split its $5 million mid-level exception between Alston and a power player such as Boston's Mark Blount.
When new Toronto general manager Rob Babcock came with a strong offer to lure him back to Canada, Alston agreed to become Babcock's first free-agent signing.
Alston's contract is reportedly guaranteed for $21 million over the first five years, which are fully guaranteed. The Raptors, sources said, hold a club option for the sixth season which, with incentives, take that figure into the $29 million range.
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.