Basketball

Raptors trade Jalen Rose

Toronto gets Antonio Davis in the deal.

For the second time in his career, Jalen Rose has been traded for Antonio Davis.

The Toronto Raptors confirmed they have shipped Rose to the New York Knicks in exchange for Davis, a former Raptor, on Friday.

The Knicks, who play in Toronto Friday night, also get a first-round draft pick in the deal.

Rose averaged 17 points per game in January after averaging less than 10 over the previous two months.

"Jalen was a pro," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "In my year and a half, Jalen was great to me. It was great working with him. ... New York is getting a good guy, a guy who can score. We're going to miss his scoring. But that's life in the NBA."

The 33-year-old Rose was part of a six-player trade in December 2003 that saw the Chicago Bulls send him, Donyell Marshall and Lonny Baxter to Toronto for Davis, Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies.

Davis spent four seasons in Toronto before asking to be traded early in the fifth year.

The deal is a smart money move by the Raptors, as they won't be on the hook for the $16.9 million US salary Rose is guaranteed next season.

The 37-year-old Davis is making $13.9 million this year, but his contract expires at the end of this season.

"This trade presents the opportunity for us to acquire $10 million (US) in cap room," Wayne Embry, interim general manager of the Raptors, said in a release.

"Being under the cap gives us flexibility to sign and trade, trade picks for a desired player, make multiple player deals for quality and broker deals for value."

By clearing a lot of cap room, the Raptors are now in a position to sign other players. On Thursday, star forward Chris Bosh pleaded with Toronto management to ink guard Mike James who is a potential free agent at the end of the campaign.

Keeping Bosh happy has to be a priority for Toronto, as he will have many suitors when he becomes a free agent in two years.

Last month, the NBA suspended Davis five games for going into the stands during a game in Chicago to confront a fan he believed was threatening his wife.

This is the second trade the Raptors have made this week.

On Tuesday, Embry dealt centre/forward Aaron Williams to the New Orleans Hornets for a pair of second-round draft picks. Embry took over the GM portfolio when Rob Babcock was fired last week.

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