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Raptors to keep Davis for $60M

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TORONTO — Antonio Davis and the Toronto Raptors have agreed to a five-year deal worth more than $60 million, his agent said.

The agreement, which cannot be signed until July 18, allows the team to hang onto a coveted free agent after a string of high-profile defections. It also should help the Raptors re-sign superstar Vince Carter, who will be a free agent after next season, agent Bill Duffy said.

"It came down to Toronto putting it all together," Davis told the Toronto Sun from his home in Orlando, Fla. "All I can do is hope that in the long run I've made the best decision for my family.

"Right now I feel that I have."

Re-signing Davis would be important for a franchise that has been unable to keep such stars as Damon Stoudamire and Tracy McGrady or attract big-name free agents.

Later Wednesday, ESPN reported that the Raptors and free agent forward Jerome Williams agreed to a seven-year deal and that point guard Alvin Williams was close to reaching agreement on a five-year deal with Toronto. A Raptors spokesman refused to comment on the report.

The 6-foot-9 Davis had been wooed by Orlando, Chicago, Seattle, Golden State and Houston, among others.

Davis was a force for the Raptors in the playoffs, despite being hampered by an injured arm. Toronto was a shot away from making the Eastern Conference finals, losing to Philadelphia by a point in Game 7 of the semifinals.

Davis, 32, spent six seasons with Indiana before coming to Toronto.

Duffy, in a conference call from California, said Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald caused a "huge turn of events" late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. The Raptors did not immediately confirm the deal.

"Glen Grunwald stepped up and on behalf of the ownership made a significant increase in his proposal, not just in the monetary aspect, but in terms of things they wanted to do," Duffy said.

"It was very appealing to Antonio, and it was the turning point, and the momentum carried over to where we reached an agreement."

Davis had two years left on a seven-year, $35 million contract, but he had a clause that allowed him to become a free agent on July 1.