Raps to 'announce' deals

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

The Raptors announced the signing of free-agent forward/guard Hassan Adams yesterday and will introduce centre Jermaine O'Neal to the Toronto media this afternoon at the Air Canada Centre.

In a deal that will become official today, the Raptors traded point guard T.J. Ford, centre Rasho Nesterovic, forward Maceo Baston and centre Roy Hibbert, Toronto's 17th overall selection from this year's draft, to the Indiana Pacers for O'Neal and Indiana's 41st overall pick from the draft, 6-foot-10, 280-pound Australian Nathan (Baby Shaq) Jawai.

O'Neal, 29, is a six-time NBA all-star, although knee problems have kept the 6-foot-11 centre to an average of 51 games a year for the past four seasons.

Also on hand at a media event this afternoon will be point guard Jose Calderon, who has re-upped with the Raptors reportedly for five years in a deal worth $7.5-$8.5 million US a season.

With Ford gone, Calderon will become the Raptors' full-time starting point guard and is expected to be backed up next season by Toronto's 2005 second-round pick Roko Ukic, who played last season with Lottomatica Roma.

Adams, who attended the club's free-agent camp last month at the ACC, signed a two-year contract.

Adams, 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, played in Italy last season.

He signed in November with Ignis Draghi Novara (Lega2), where he averaged 20.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.0 steals in 12 games.

In March, he moved to Siviglia Wear Teramo (Serie A) and averaged 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals in eight games.

Adams was selected 54th overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. He appeared in 61 games with New Jersey in the 2006-07 season, averaging 2.9 points, 1.3 rebounds and 8.1 minutes. He averaged 4.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 18.3 minutes in eight starts and led the Nets in scoring twice, in steals five times and in blocks four times. He posted career highs of 16 points and eight rebounds at Boston on Nov. 29, 2006. He saw action in six post-season games with the Nets.

The native of Los Angeles averaged 14.0 points and 5.4 rebounds during his four years at the University of Arizona. He earned first-team All-Pac-10 honours as a senior, averaging a career-best 17.5 points, and finished his collegiate career as the only player in Pac-10 history to record 1,800 points, 700 rebounds and 200 steals.


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