Miami Heat sign Rafer Alston
Miami HEAT President and Head Coach Pat Riley announced this afternoon that the team has signed free agent guard Rafer Alston. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Alston, a 6'2", 173-pound point guard, has averaged 4.2 points, 2.9 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 13.8 minutes in 161 regular season games (13 starts) during his four-year NBA career and owns a 2.70:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He has shot 37.2 percent (262-705) from the floor, 67 percent (67-100) from the foul line and 36.3 percent (89-245) from three-point range while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks (1999-2002) and the Toronto Raptors (2002-03). A former second-round draft choice (39th overall) by the Bucks in 1998, he has scored in double figures 23 times, handed out double figures in assists on three occasions and has recorded a pair of double-doubles.
The Queens, New York native enjoyed the best year of his career last season after signing a 10-day with the Raptors on Jan. 7. At the conclusion of that 10-day contract he was signed for the remainder of the season by the Raptors on Jan. 18. In 47 games (four starts) with Toronto, he averaged 7.8 points, 4.1 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 20.9 minutes while shooting 41.5 percent (139-335) from the floor, 68.5 percent (37-54) from the foul line and 39.2 percent (51-130) from three-point range. During the 2002-03 season he set career highs in points (366), scoring average, minutes played (980), field goals made, field goals attempted, field goal percentage, free throws made, free throws attempted, three-point field goals made, three-point field goals attempted, three-point field goal percentage, offensive rebounds (21), defensive rebounds (86), total rebounds (107), assists (192), steals (38) and blocks (15). His 192 assists and 4.1 assist per game average both ranked second on the Raptors.
On 14 occasions during the 2002-03 season he scored in double figures, including a career-high 23-point effort in the season-finale at Cleveland on Apr. 16. Alston led the Raptors in assists 16 times and set a career high with 11 at Washington on Jan. 14, in just his third game as a Raptor, a game in which he also scored 13 points to record his lone double-double of the 2002-03 campaign. In his four starts, Alston averaged 20.3 points, 7.8 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 42.5 minutes while shooting 45.3 percent (29-64) from the floor, 81.3 percent (13-16) from the foul line and 33.3 percent (6-18) from three-point range. Included among his four starts was a 19-point, career-high eight-rebound, eight-assist outing against the HEAT in Miami on Apr. 15. Alston closed out the season by hitting at least one three-point field goal in each of Toronto's last 10 games, establishing a new career high.