The Toronto Raptors traded temperamental point guard Rafer Alston to the Houston Rockets for guard Mike James on Tuesday.
Alston was involved in several scrapes last season. He threatened to quit the team and the NBA after a Dec. 3 game in Boston and was suspended by the Raptors for two games for conduct detrimental to the club after he walked out during practice.
Alston (above) averaged 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists last season.
Toronto general manager Rob Babcock insisted the deal had nothing to do with Alston’s attitude.
“Rafer’s attitude has been terrific, and he’s worked very hard, learned a lot from last year,” Babcock said. “He had a great attitude coming in here, so that has nothing to do with it at all.”
The move could save the team as much as $16-million over the next five years.
“Rafer still would have been a good fit for our team, but we felt this was a better fit and certainly gives us more flexibility down the road in regards to the cap,” he said.