Rasho Nesterovic is coming back to his adopted hometown.
The veteran centre, who spent two seasons with the Raptors before being traded to Indiana a year ago, has agreed in principle to a one-year deal worth about $1.9 million (U.S.), the so-called biannual exception to the NBA’s salary cap.
The move comes as little surprise since president and general manager Bryan Colangelo has long held that the 33-year-old 7-footer is exactly the kind of solid veteran the team covets in a second unit role.
The deal also works moneywise for the Raptors, who retain any financial flexibility they will have at the end of next season.
It will be the big Slovenian’s third season with the Raptors. He played in Toronto in 2006-07 and 2007-08 before being traded to Indiana last summer as part of the multi-player trade that brought the Raptors Jermaine O’Neal. Nesterovic, 33, averaged 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds for the Pacers last season, playing in 70 games and making 19 starts while shooting 51.3 per cent from the floor.
The move cements the team’s front court, where Reggie Evans was the only credible backup to starters Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. Now, the team has a 7-foot veteran to throw into the game on those inevitable nights when Bargnani faces foul trouble. Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo has just one move left in an off-season during which in which he has added rookie DeMar DeRozan and veterans Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack, Antoine Wright, Devean George, Evans and Nesterovic. Negotiations with former Raptor Carlos Delfino are continuing.
The manager, Hadi Teherany, and Bosh both say they were laughing at the idea the question was asked, not the subject of the question itself.
"He was simply laughing because the caller said that out of no where, it was NOT a reaction to going or playing for the Knicks," Teherany’s Twitter page says.
"We both love and respect NYC, the fans, and the mecca of Basketball. Be clear."
"I swear the media writes up stories and accusations when it’s a slow sports day. Rediculous. (sic)"
Bosh’s Twitter page says: "I always laugh it off when people ask me to come to their cities. I wasn’t laughin’ because it was the Knicks."
I would have preferred to have seen the Raptors sign a different type of backup big man. To go with someone more mobile, a quicker big, more of combo forward, similar to what Pops Mensah-Bonsu brought to the Raptors last season.
Someone who could cover the pick and roll well (a huge problem for Toronto last season), who could run the floor well allowing the Raptors to push the tempo, and rebound at a high level (another Raptors problem area). None of which Rasho Nesterovic does.
NBA All-Star Chris Bosh brought some glamour to a Vaughan, Ont. suburb on Friday. He dropped in at the home of Naji Naeemzada, 21, who won of the Driveway Challenge, a competition to bring a pick-up game with the Toronto Raptor to his street. Michael McKiernan was there to see it.
Nesterovic also upgrades a defense that gave up 102 points per game in 2008-09. Former coach Sam Mitchell loved how he provided weakside help for teammates. Next season, current coach Jay Triano will expect the veteran to foster a get-stops mentality.
He’s cheap insurance. Bargnani has had health issues and struggles with consistency, while Bosh could get traded before hitting free agency next summer. If necessary, Nesterovic, a former starter, could step in for either and log heavy minutes.
The old is new again in Toronto. Like his previous run with the Raptors, Nesterovic will be a success.
And Bryan "theMangelo" ‘s latest move is one that is minor, yet major at the same time. Bringing in former Toronto Raptor Rasho Nesterovic by using the Bi-Annual Exception, for a 1 year/1.9 million dollar deal is great. He loves Toronto and is an under-rated defender. He’s a steal for the Raptors and is a great backup.
Also, these moves make Chris Bosh happier too. He was excited with the Hedo Turkoglu signing, and he was calling Turk encouraging him to sign aswell. Also, him and Jarrett Jack were teammates at Georgia Tech.
The off-season is not even half way over, and it’s a safe bet that there will be a few more tweaks made by the Raptors General Manager before the Raptors first game. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if another big signing was made either.
With a front court of Rasho, Bosh, Barney, Evans, POB(i made an acrostic poem for patrick it’s Poo On Bricks)are suited up front and ready to go. Which unless Pops Mensah-Bonsu is a actually working real hard on becoming a SF his already slim chances of returning to the ACC as a Raptor are none.
Negotiations that have been going on with another former raptor Carlos Delfino since July 1st continue. No, word on whether they are any closer to retaining the argentinian. But, he now gets his wish of being the #1 target on the raptors free agency list.
while we wait a while for those two roster spots to be filled and the Season to start and while my amigo and also arch nemesis Micheal Malcolm decides to name the best raptors squad ever. Why not do the complete opposite just to see if we can piss him off?
So, like mike’s article we’ll put the position, then the name, and why. While including honourable mentions. But, we’ll see if we can’t be a little bit creative with it as well. Let’s get this started
Throughout the media, bloggers and friends alike, the people I’ve spoken to and read were all in agreement that they wanted to see Rasho return to Toronto, a place he really didn’t want to leave in the first place.
Three reasons I LOVE this deal for the Raptors:
I love this deal–the Raptors have signed a solid, veteran big man for cheap money. The bench looks to be getting much better, and the future looks increasingly brighter.
I believe the Raptors have around $5M left to spend, but it must be on a player the Raptors have the rights to. I’m guessing with this money, Bryan Colangelo will continue to pursue Carlos Delfino. If the front office decides not to use this $5M, the Raptors can sign whomever they wish–just at a veteran minimum. So, talent wise, bringing back Delfino makes the most sense.
Sit back, and relax Raptor fans…life is good.
I can’t praise Douby’s performance enough. He’s a talented individual, and I think he’s a more mature player at this stage of his career than he was coming out of Rutgers. It also didn’t help being stuck in Sacramento where the revolving door of coaches through off any chance for consistency. I like his chances of sticking in Toronto this season or else catching on with another NBA club.
As for the others, it’ll be interesting to see how the Raptors utilize the relationship with the BayHawks this season. Hopefully they’ll follow more in the mold of the Cavs and be open to development assignments and less like the 76ers who seemed very unconcerned with their Erie affiliation last season. In any case, welcome aboard Toronto. Summer League is fun, and hopefully the rest of the year will follow suit.
Tags: andrea bargnani, Antoine Wright, basketball, bryan colangelo, carlos delfino, Chris Bosh, Demar DeRozan, Devean George, Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack, Jay Triano, NBA, patrick o'bryant, pops mensah-bonsu, quincy douby, Rasho Nesterovic, Reggie Evans, toronto raptors