Raptors officially buy out Mourning

Sportsnet reports “The Vince Carter trade to New Jersey now leaves Toronto with a disgruntled Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round picks.The Toronto Raptors have bought out the remaining two years on Alonzo Mourning’s contract on Friday.

“Since the trade, we have taken the time to fully understand Alonzo’s medical situation. Our doctors have thoroughly reviewed his records and consulted with other independent specialists and have determined that Alonzo does not meet our medical conditions to play for our basketball team,” said Raptors general manager Rob Babcock in a press release.

Terms of the buyout were not disclosed, however, it was reported that Mourning was asking for $14 million of the $17 million owed to him in his contract. New Jersey reportedly offered Mourning $6 million prior to the trade.

“While we realize it may be possible for him to play in limited circumstances, we’ve been able to confirm our expectations that because of his medical issues he would not be able to fit into our long-term strategy of building something sustainable.”

“We felt it was in the best interests of the Raptors to reach a financial settlement which would provide us additional financial flexibility,” Babcock said. “We are pleased with the deal we’ve been able to make and wish Alonzo the best in his future.”

Mourning, who never reported to Toronto after he was part of the Vince Carter trade to New Jersey, has been recovering from a kidney transplant.

It has been rumoured Mourning will sign with his former team, the Miami Heat.

He averaged 10.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 25.4 minutes. The Nets signed him to a four-year, $22.6 million US guaranteed contract in July 2003. He still has $17 million owed to him and it is not clear how much the buyout is worth. Mourning played only 12 games before retiring Nov. 24 because of complications from a kidney disease that was first diagnosed in 2000.”


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