Proven scorer Mercer now a free agent

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs on Friday released
guard Ron Mercer, a proven scorer who was acquired in an offseason
trade but used sparingly.

Coach Gregg Popovich said the timing of Mercer's release would
allow him to catch on with another team before March 1, the
deadline for eligibility for the playoffs.

Mercer, 27, was acquired from Indiana in a three-way trade in
July that also involved Sacramento. The Spurs obtained guard Hedo
Turkoglu, now a starter, in the same deal.

Mercer played in 39 games this season, though his minutes had
been severely curtailed since early January. He averaged 5.0 points
and 1.3 rebounds in 13 minutes.

For his seven-year NBA career, most of it as a starter, he has
averaged 13.9 points and 3.1 rebounds. Mercer was drafted by Boston
in 1997 and he later played with Denver, Orlando and Chicago before
going to the Pacers in 2002.