Mourning, Raptors part ways

The Toronto Raptors have let go of 'Zo.

Raptors rookie general manager Rob Babcock confirmed Friday that he had negotiated a buyout with Alonzo Mourning, who refused to play in Toronto.

The ailing centre is owed more than $17 million US on the four-year, $22.6-million US contract he received from New Jersey on July 16, 2003.

Mourning never reported to Toronto after being acquired last Dec. 17 from the Nets with Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round draft picks for Vince Carter.

Speculation is he intends to rejoin the Miami Heat.

Mourning, who had a kidney transplant on Dec. 19, 2003, claimed he stopped playing this season because of hand, hip, knee and leg injuries but also openly criticized New Jersey's off-season moves and demanded a trade to a contender.

He played well enough, though, averaging 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 blocked shots and 24.4 minutes in 18 games, including 14 starts.

Mourning was the second NBA player to return following a kidney transplant (Sean Elliott of the San Antonio Spurs was first).

Mourning is a lifetime 52.3 per cent shooter and has averaged 19.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 1.3 assists and 34.4 minutes in 652 NBA games (620 starts).

A six-time all-star and two-time defensive player of the year, the Georgetown grad has played for the Charlotte Hornets, Heat and Nets since being drafted second overall in 1992.

with files from Sports Network