Heat suspend Rafer Alston

The Miami Heat announced tonight that Rafer Alston, while having made contact with the team via text message, has made himself otherwise unavailable to the team.  As a result he has been suspended indefinitely.

It’s quite possible the Heat will part ways with Alston in the coming days.

Alston, who is in his 11th NBA season, was signed as a free agent by the Heat on January 7, 2010. He has appeared in 52 games this season (38 starts) with the Heat and New Jersey Nets and has averaged 8.2 points, 3.4 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 0.96 steals and 27.3 minutes. He started all 25 games in which he appeared for Miami this season and averaged 6.6 points, 2.9 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 0.92 steals and 26.2 minutes.

The Heat played at home Saturday night, beating the Atlanta Hawks 100-94. Alston was not at the game.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

Alston failed to report for practice Friday, which the team did not initially disclose, and then did not appear at Saturday’s victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

His abrupt departure from the team came a day after he was demoted from his starting role in Thursday’s overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Alston, who was signed Jan. 7 to add punch to a shaky rotation at point guard, was benched for the final three quarters of Tuesday’s victory over the Golden State Warriors and then replaced in the starting lineup Thursday by Carlos Arroyo, not seeing any action in that game.