NBA Roundtable

Rafer Alston Buyout

In Free Agency on January 5, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via twitter)

Rafer Alston has agreed to a contract buyout with Nets, and Heat and Cavs lead list of possible suitors for free agent, sources tell Y!

Interesting …

  • Solid point guard on the market if any playoff teams are interested.
  • Good defender + solid floor general and passer + solid jump shot (35% from three for his career) but a poor finisher inside of 10 feet.
  • Alston has struggled with his shooting + scoring this season but a lot of that should rectify itself once he joins a better team.

So who is looking for a point guard?

  • Boston? Not wholly satisfied with Eddie House at the point. Prefer him off the ball.
  • Orlando? Jason Williams and Anthony Johnson are their current backups. Rafer Alston was the starting point guard when the made the Finals last year.
  • Miami are still trying to figure out their point guard situation plus Rafer has history there too.
  • The Utah Jazz are in the market for a point guard following the loss of Eric Maynor in a salary dump. Rafer would be an excellent backup for them and fit their system well. I like that fit.

The rest of the playoff hopefuls

  • Cleveland are loaded with point guards (Mo Williams, Delonte West, Daniel Gibson). Doubt they have anything more than a passing interest.
  • Houston, Rafer’s former team, are settledwith Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry. As are the San Antonio Spurs with Tony Parker, George Hill and Roger Mason Jr.
  • Dallas are also loaded at the point with Jason Kidd, JJ Barea, Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois. Denver have Chauncey Billups, Ty Lawson and Anthony Carter. Hard to see them interested in another point either.
  • Would the Lakers be interested? I doubt it. Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown. Rafer is better on the ball as a penetrator than a shooter to space the floor.
  • The Atlanta Hawks have Mike Bibby, Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague. Settled rotation.
  • Oklahoma won’t be looking for an old veteran when they have two young talented prospects at the point.
  • Phoenix? Dragic? Hmm … tough to say. Doubtful. Oh, and Phoenix won’t want to spend any more money unless it’s really necessary so doubly doubtful.

It’s hard to imagine Rafer Alston passing up on an opportunity to join a playoff team, or better yet a title contender, unless he was going to be given 30+ minutes a night somewhere which is just as hard to imagine. So, Rafer is pretty close to a lock to join a playoff squad.

Update: Rafer May Be Heading to Miami

Wojnarowski reports

To possibly free up a roster spot for Alston, the Heat have also agreed to trade point guard Chris Quinn and a future second-round pick to the Nets.

Too much of a coincidence right?

The Nets waive a player who Miami are interested in and the same day Miami sends a player to NJ in order to clear a roster spot in order to sign that waived player. Just an hour after Rafer was waived.

Presumably this was a pre-arranged deal and now Rafer Alston is readying to sign with the Miami Heat.

Update: New Jersey bought out Rafer’s $5.25 million contract for $4 million saving $1.25 million in the process. They also received cash from the Heat which will likely be just enough to buyout Chris Quinn from his contract. Nice day’s business for Rod Thorn.

Update: New Jersey got Miami’s 2012 second round draft pick plus an undisclosed amount of cash. The Nets also sent a protected (31-50) 2010 second round pick to Miami, which due to it’s heavy protection will never go to Miami.

Update: Rafer had $3.05 million left on his $5.25 million contract for the rest of the season. He was paid $2.1 million of that sum. Figures according to Alex Kennedy.

Update: Rafer Signed With Miami

RealGM reports

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent guard Rafer Alston. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to have Skip back in a Heat uniform, as he brings another set of skills and experience to the point guard position,” said Heat President Pat Riley.

“From his time in Miami, we know both his game and him as a person, and we had a great experience with him in the past. We are very happy to have Skip back in the HEAT family.”

Alston, who was placed on waivers by the New Jersey Nets on January 5, has appeared in 27 games (13 starts) this season for the Nets. He has averaged 9.7 points, 3.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.00 steals in 28.4 minutes per game.

Excellent signing for the Heat. Rafer has a good chance at cracking their rotation and playing a significant role for the Heat.

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