HOUSTON – The Houston Rockets have acquired guard Rafer Alston from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for guard Mike James, General Manager Carroll Dawson announced today.
Alston (6-2, Fresno State) joins the Rockets with career averages of 8.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 323 games with Milwaukee, Toronto and Miami. The six-year NBA veteran averaged 14.2 points, as well as team highs of 6.4 assists (11th in the NBA) and 1.48 steals (18th in the NBA), in 80 games (78 starts) with Toronto last season. Alston also ranked 19th in the league in both 3-pointers made (139) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.02). He also set single-game career highs for points (29 on Jan. 26 vs. Miami) and assists (15 on Jan. 17 at Minnesota) in 2004-2005. Alston had his streak of 61 consecutive games with a 3-pointer snapped on Nov. 27 at New York.
The New York native spent the 2003-2004 season with the Miami Heat, where he was the only Miami player to play in all 82 games (28 starts). He averaged 10.2 points, a team-high 4.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.39 steals in 31.5 minutes per game. Alston made his first appearance in a Raptors uniform in 2002-2003, averaging 7.8 points, 4.1 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 47 games. He also played in six games with the Mobile Revelers of the National Basketball Development League (NBDL), where he averaged 15.8 points and 9.7 assists. The 6-2, 170-pound guard spent his first three seasons in the NBA with Milwaukee, averaging 2.8 points, 2.5 assists and 0.50 steals in 114 games (nine starts) with the Bucks.
Drafted by Milwaukee in the second-round (39th overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft, Alston went on to average 6.5 points, 6.2 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 17 games with the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA).
Alston played one season at Fresno State after spending his first two collegiate years at junior colleges (Fresno Community College and Ventura College). Tagged a “playground legend” while playing in Queens, New York, Alston earned the nicknamed “Skip to my Lou.”
James (6-2, Duquesne) departs Houston with career averages of 9.2 points and 3.5 assists in 248 games with Miami, Boston, Milwaukee and Houston. In 2004-2005, James averaged a career-high 11.8 points (on a career-high .441 shooting) and 3.6 assists in 74 games with Milwaukee and Houston. He joined the Rockets in a trade with Milwaukee on Feb. 24, 2005, averaging 12.4 points and 2.9 assists in 27 games with Houston.