Jones joins Raptors after Pacers rescinded offer

Updated: July 26, 2006, 12:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

INDIANAPOLIS -- Free agent guard Fred Jones signed a multiyear contract with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

Shooting Guard
Indiana Pacers

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
68 9.6 2.5 2.3 .417 .763

The Indianapolis Star reported on Monday that Jones agreed to a three-year deal worth $11 million with Toronto.

Jones, a former slam-dunk champion, spent the first four years of his NBA career with the Indiana Pacers and played a key role while the team fought through injuries and suspensions the last two seasons. The 6-foot-2 leaper from Oregon averaged 9.6 points a game as a backup last season, and 10.6 points and 3.1 rebounds two seasons ago.

The Pacers made a qualifying offer to Jones earlier this summer. But Jones' agent, Bill Duffy, told The Associated Press they rescinded the offer last week, making Jones an unrestricted free agent. Jones will sign with Toronto in the next few days.

The timing of the Pacers' decision made things more difficult for Jones. Being an unrestricted free agent earlier would have given Jones more options, but the Pacers' late decision limited Jones' options.

"We were behind the eight-ball," Duffy said. "Other situations were not available that would have been available because time had elapsed."

Jones should fit in well with the Raptors, who just added point guard T.J. Ford. Jones has spent most of his career as a backup, but will have a chance to compete for a starting spot in Toronto.

"I'm happy for the possibilities for him up there," he said. "I think it's going to be a new lease on life for him, and his role will be increased. Their style is more conducive to Fred's style."

Duffy was surprised the Pacers pulled their qualifying offer.

"I have never experienced that before," he said. "They had to do what they had to do. He's in a better situation for him, and that's all that matters at this point."

A message for Pacers CEO and president Donnie Walsh wasn't immediately returned.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.