Chicago sends Brand to Clippers for rights to Chandler
Updated: Thursday July 05, 2001 1:12 PM
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- The Bulls didn't have the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, but that didn't keep them from trying to steal the show.
On Wednesday, general manager Jerry Krause traded his team's best player -- Elton Brand -- to the Los Angeles Clippers for the rights to 7-foot high school forward/center Tyson Chandler and forward Brian Skinner.
Brand, whom the Bulls selected with the No. 1 overall pick in 1999, averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds during his two seasons in Chicago.
Chandler was the No. 2 pick by the Clippers. He averaged 26 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocked shots at Dominguez High in Compton, Calif.
The Bulls now have two high school players on their roster. With the fourth pick Wednesday night, Chicago took local product Eddy Curry, a 6-11 center from Thornwood High of South Holland, Ill.
"I think it will be great with two high schoolers," Chandler said. "We can learn from each other and we will get through this together. I think it will be a little easier for us because we're not so much on our own. We can get out there and work out together and make this really good."
Chandler and Curry faced each other in a high school tournament in December. Both players had 16 points, and Chandler's Dominguez team beat Curry's Thornwood squad 54-50.
Curry shot just 5-for-18 in the game against Chandler.
Kwame Brown, another prep star, was the first pick, so three of top four selections came directly out of high school.
"I think all the high school guys have to get out there and work really hard," Chandler said.
"We'll be under a lot of scrutiny and we can't let it get to us. We have to focus on the goal we're here to do."
Curry led Thornwood to the state tournament finals, averaging 22 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots while shooting 64 percent from the field.
Both the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that the Bulls listened to a trade offer from the Wizards in which Chicago would have sent Brand to Washington for the first pick.
Now Brand, who was the bright spot for the Bulls as they went 32-132 the last two seasons, is gone.
"Those are big shoes to fill," Chandler said of Brand. "I'll go out and play my game and do what I'm capable of doing."
Curry said playing close to home should help him make the transition.
"I'll be surrounded by my family and that's what I needed at this time. My family will make it a lot easier," Curry said.
"I know in my heart I'm ready to do this, especially physically. I think emotionally and mentally nobody can be 100 percent ready for the lifestyle you are about to embark on, regardless if you go to four years of college or come out of high school," Curry added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.