Saturday , Jul , 25 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Toronto Raptors and Rasho Nesterovic sequel makes sense

After much change and turnover, the Toronto Raptors are hoping a familiar face can add depth down-low. Today, the club continued their off-season makeover, signing forward/centre Rasho Nesterovic to a one-year deal for $1.9 million dollars. The Slovenian was a Raptor from 2006 to 2008, but was traded to the Pacers only because his salary was needed to balance numbers in last summer’s T.J. Ford-Jermaine O’Neal blockbuster …


Toronto Raptors and Rasho Nesterovic sequel makes sense



Breaking NBA news mixed with analysis…

Their News: "Bryan Colangelo remains the busiest man in basketball as it appears the Toronto Raptors’ general manager has re-acquired centre Rasho Nesterovic." (TSN.ca)

Our Quick Analysis: After much change and turnover, the Toronto Raptors are turning to a familiar face to add depth down-low.

Today, the club continued their off-season makeover, signing forward/centre Rasho Nesterovic to a one-year deal for $1.9 million dollars. The Slovenian was a Raptor from 2006 to 2008, but was traded to the Pacers only because his salary was needed to balance numbers in last summer’s T.J. Ford-Jermaine O’Neal blockbuster.

Simply put, the pivot should have never left. And returning to the Air Canada Centre makes sense.

In the summer of 2006, GM Bryan Colangelo acquired Nesterovic from San Antonio to help stabilize a shaky franchise. After all, the Raptors were reeling from the dysfunctional Rob Babcock era and needed a calming influence in a young locker-room.

Three years later, Toronto is again picking up the pieces after a difficult year. And Nesterovic is again expected to quietly lead. He’ll model professionalism coming off-the-bench for Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh or by working hard in practice.

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.  

Got thoughts on the T-dot adding Nesterovic? Get at us with thoughts and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of dgalloway.