Proven scorer Mercer now a free agent
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.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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