Raptors sign G Ford to a multi-year extension

Nov 1, 2006 - 3:19 AM TORONTO (Ticker) - T.J. Ford has yet to play in a regular-season game for the Toronto Raptors but already has a new contract.

Hours before the deadline, Ford signed a multi-year contract extension Tuesday with his new team. Had the Raptors not signed Ford to an extension, the point guard would have been a restricted free agent next summer.

Terms were not disclosed, but The Globe and Mail of Toronto reported on its web site that the deal was for three years with a player option for a fourth season at an average salary of $8.6 million per season.

Recovered from a career-threatening back injury that required surgery two years ago, Ford was acquired by Toronto in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks for second-year forward Charlie Villanueva on June 30.

Last season, the 6-foot, 165-pound Ford averaged 12.2 points and 6.6 assists in 72 games. He is considered one of the fastest players in the NBA.

The eighth overall selection in 2003, Ford missed the final 26 games of the 2003-04 season and the entire 2004-05 campaign after suffering a serious spinal cord injury. He averaged 10.0 points and 6.5 assists in two seasons with Milwaukee.

The 23-year-old Ford played two campaigns at Texas, winning the Wooden and Naismith College Player of the Year awards after his sophomore season. As a freshman, he led the NCAA in assists at 8.3 per game.

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