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Pacers, Raptors Finalize Trade

The Raptors and Pacers finalized a trade Sunday that was agreed to a month earlier, with Toronto acquiring veteran power forward Antonio Davis from Indiana for 18-year-old Jonathan Bender.

The trade was made June 30 on the night of the NBA draft, when Bender was selected fifth overall, but league rules prevented it from being announced until Aug. 1.

Davis, 30, spent the last six seasons with Pacers and helped the team reach the Eastern Conference finals four times. But he had a poor series this year in the Pacers' 4-2 loss to the New York Knicks and was deemed expendable as Indiana looked to get younger.

"Antonio Davis brings the veteran leadership, experience and toughness that will help us build on the progress we made as a team last year," Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald said. "He is a terrific guy and will be a great addition to both our locker room and our community."

The 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward averaged 8.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 25.5 minutes per game coming off the bench for Indiana last season. Davis could be particularly valuable to the Raptors if they are unable to re-sign power forward Charles Oakley, who is a free agent.

"I would love to start," Davis said. "I'm willing to take on a lot of responsibility and once I get there and the coaches see how I fit in with the team, I hope they'll agree I'm capable of doing that."

"I don't expect to come to Toronto and have a starting position handed to me," he said. "I have no problem with Charles Oakley coming back. I think a team needs three big, strong guys up front."

Presently, Oakley wants a contract averaging $8.5 million annually while Toronto has offered about $5.5 million.

As for rumors of a trade that would bring Penny Hardaway to Toronto and see Oakley and Tracy McGrady go to Orlando, Grunwald said it won't happen.

"We won't trade Tracy McGrady," he said.

Bender was drafted out of Picayune High School in Mississippi. No high schooler had been picked that early since Minnesota took Kevin Garnett fifth overall in 1995.

The Pacers, who chose high schooler Al Harrington in the 1998 draft, now have two teen-agers on their roster. Harrington is 19.

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