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Raptors Acquire Rasho Nesterovic In Exchange for<br>Matt Bonner, Eric Williams & a Future Second Round Pick

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(June 21, 2006) -- The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have acquired centre Rasho Nesterovic (RAH-show Neh-STARE-oh-vitch) and cash considerations from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for forwards Eric Williams and Matt Bonner, and a 2009 second-round draft pick.
Rasho Nesterovic gives the Raptors a legitmate option at centre. (NBAE/Getty Images)size>


“Acquiring Rasho brings us an experienced presence at the centre position while not affecting our cap situation,” said Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo. “He’s a smart basketball player who will help address our needs, particularly on the defensive end of the floor.”

Nesterovic, 7-foot, 255 pounds, was a first-round selection (17th overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1998. He signed with San Antonio as a free agent in the 2003 offseason. The eight-year veteran has averaged 7.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 24.1 minutes in 548 career games, 456 of them as a starter. In 54 postseason contests, he has averaged 3.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 17.7 minutes. He was a member of the Spurs’ 2005 NBA Championship team.

Nesterovic registered career highs of 11.2 points and 30.4 minutes during the 2002-03 season. He also posted a personal best field goal percentage of .525 during that campaign. He established a career high rebounding average of 7.7 per game in 2003-04.

Nesterovic recorded a career-high 24 points against the Spurs as a member of the Timberwolves on November 24, 2001. He has grabbed a career-best 15 rebounds on three occasions, most recently March 5, 2004 versus Dallas. He has played 80 or more games in four seasons, averaging 78 games per season over the past seven years.

Nesterovic joined the Timberwolves on May 4, 1999 after he had finished his season with Virtus Kinder Bologna of the Italian League. He averaged 13.5 points, shooting .653 from the field, 6.2 rebounds and 1.42 blocks for Kinder Bologna. He appeared in two games with Minnesota, totaling eight points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes.

Williams came to Toronto on December 17, 2004 as part of the Vince Carter trade to New Jersey. In his two seasons with the Raptors, Williams averaged 4.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 15.1 minutes in 62 games.

Bonner was acquired in a June 26, 2003 trade with Chicago for a future second-round pick. He appeared in 160 games in his two seasons with the Raptors, averaging 7.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 20.4 minutes.

The 2009 second-round pick was obtained, along with a 2006 second-round selection, from New Orleans/Oklahoma City on January 31, 2006 in exchange for Aaron Williams.

The Raptors also announced Wednesday they have waived centre Robert Whaley. Whaley was acquired on June 8th along with forward Kris Humphries in exchange for centre Rafael Araujo.