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PG Ford gets extension, will drive Raptors into future

10/31/2006 - NBA T.J. Ford Toronto Raptors + more

TORONTO -- Point guard T.J. Ford and the Toronto Raptors
agreed Tuesday on a contract extension.

T.J. Ford Ford

Ford signed a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year.
The extension could pay the guard as much as $33 million.

Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo had until midnight
Tuesday to make the deal, otherwise the 23-year-old would become a
restricted free agent at the end of this season.

"Just knowing that I'll be here some more years, and with a
great group of guys we have we just look forward to building a
championship team," Ford said after Tuesday's practice.

Ford was acquired in an offseason trade with the Milwaukee Bucks
for forward Charlie Villanueva, runner-up for NBA rookie of the
year last season. The speedy Ford was the perfect fit for the
fast-paced offense Colangelo wanted the Raptors to play.

"We think T.J. has all the physical tools, he has the mental
capacity, he's a tough kid, he's got some tools that a lot of
people don't have: speed and quickness," Raptors coach Sam
Mitchell said.

Ford, the No. 8 selection in the 2003 NBA draft, averaged 12.2
points and a team-high 6.6 assists in 72 games last season
following a spinal-cord injury that sidelined him for a season and
a half.

"I want to be one of the best point guards in the NBA, and
that's my main focus," Ford said.

The Raptors also announced they have exercised the fourth-year
option for forward Kris Humphries. Humphries is now guaranteed
through the 2007-08 season.