May 18, 1976|
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
Oak Hill Academy
(Mouth of Wilson, Virginia)
|NBA draft||1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|Position||Small forward / Shooting guard|
|Number||5, 33, 1|
|2003–2004||San Antonio Spurs|
|2004–2005||New Jersey Nets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||5,892 (13.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,342 (3.1 rpg)|
|Assists||921 (2.1 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Ronald Eugene Mercer (born May 18, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player. After his career at the University of Kentucky, Mercer played for several teams in the National Basketball Association; he ended his career with the New Jersey Nets in 2005.
Ron Mercer was twice named "Mr. Basketball" of Tennessee while at Goodpasture Christian School in Madison, Tennessee. He then transferred to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, and was rated by Bob Gibbons to be the best prep player of the class of 1995.
He was selected with the sixth overall pick of the 1997 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics and was reunited with fellow Kentucky teammate Antoine Walker, and Rick Pitino, his coach at Kentucky who had just become the coach of the Celtics. Prior to Mercer's drafting, Pitino was recorded as saying that he did not envisage Mercer as having the necessary talent to be selected very high. Some felt this was just a ploy to scare the other teams away from him so as to increase the likelihood of Mercer being available by the time the Celtics got an opportunity to make their draft selection. It turned out it was.
After two seasons in Boston, Mercer was traded by the Celtics along with Popeye Jones and Dwayne Schintzius to the Denver Nuggets for Danny Fortson, Eric Williams, Eric Washington and a future draft choice. He played 37 games for Denver in 1999–2000, then played the final 31 games that season with the Orlando Magic due to a trade.
Despite Mercer's 16.8 points per game in 2001–02, he was traded midway through the season with Brad Miller, Ron Artest (now known as Metta World Peace) and Kevin Ollie to the Indiana Pacers for Jalen Rose, Travis Best, Norman Richardson and a second-round draft pick. In Indiana he served merely as a reserve player, and his play declined rapidly over his one-and-a-half-season stint with the club.
Before the 2003–04 season, he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in a three-team trade that again involved Brad Miller and the Sacramento Kings' Hedo Türkoğlu. After playing 39 games with the Spurs, he was released.
On August 15, 2005, prior to the 2005–06 NBA season, Mercer was waived by the Nets to avoid the league's luxury tax as part of the new labor agreement. He has not played in the league since.
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