Raptors, Bucks trade Charlie Villanueva for TJ Ford
The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have acquired point guard T.J. Ford and an undisclosed amount of cash from the Milwaukee Bucks for forward Charlie Villanueva. Ford was the eighth overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Ford, 6-foot, 165 pounds, averaged 12.2 points, a team-best 6.6 assists and 35.5 minutes last season. He started 70 of his 72 appearance, leading the he Bucks in assists in 52 games and in steals in 29 outings. He posted double figures in points 47 times, with six games of 20 or more.
In five postseason season contests, Ford averaged 12.6 points and 6.4 assists. He shot .490 per cent from the field, .400 per cent from three-point range and .917 per cent from the charity stripe.
“We are sorry to see Charlie leave, but getting better comes at a cost,” said Bryan Colangelo, president and general manager of the Raptors. “T.J. Ford’s best attributes, quickness and playmaking, are a perfect fit for our team.”
In 2003-04, Ford contributed 7.1 points and 6.5 assists in 55 outings. He paced the Bucks in assists and was second among all rookies. He topped the team in steals at 1.09 per game, and shot .816 per cent from the foul line. He was named to the All-NBA Rookie Second Team.
Ford missed the final 26 games of the 2003-04 season and the entire 2004-05 campaign due to neck surgery.
Ford averaged 10.0 points and 6.5 assists in 127 games in his two seasons of game action in Milwaukee. He started 125 contests, averaging 31.7 minutes. He recorded career bests of 34 points at Orlando on April 5, 2006 and 14 assists November 1, 2005 at Philadelphia.
Ford was an early entry candidate for the draft after two seasons at the University of Texas. He was named collegiate player of the year by multiple media outlets following his sophomore season. He also won the prestigious Wooden and Naismith Awards as College Player of the Year. As a freshman, he led the NCAA in assists at 8.27 per game.
Villanueva was the first of two Raptors’ first-round draft picks in 2006 (seventh overall). He averaged 13.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in 81 games, including 36 starts. He set Raptors rookie records for points (48, March 26 at Milwaukee) and rebounds (18, April 2 versus New Orleans/Oklahoma City), and finished the season second on the team in rebounds and double-doubles (12). He was named to the T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team.
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