Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Email Travel Subscribe SI About Us Pro Basketball Fantasy Almanac WNBA Minors

  pro basketball
baseball S
pro football S
col. football S
m. college bb S
w. college bb S
hockey S
golf plus S
tennis S
soccer S
motor sports
olympic sports
women's sports
more sports

 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Multimedia Central
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Work in Sports GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia

Getting it done

Four-team blockbuster finally realized

Click here for more on this story
Latest: Thursday September 21, 2000 10:36 PM

  Patrick Ewing Patrick Ewing will reportedly join Olympian Vin Baker in Seattle's frontcourt. Otto Greule, Jr./Allsport

NEW YORK (AP) -- Patrick Ewing's 15-year career with the Knicks ended Wednesday night when New York sent him to Seattle in a four-team, 12-player trade also involving the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix.

The Knicks sent Ewing to the SuperSonics and received Glen Rice from the Lakers and Luc Longley from the Suns. Among the other major players moving were Horace Grant from Seattle to Los Angeles and Chris Dudley from New York to Phoenix.

"It became clear that he was looking for a change, and when he requested a trade, we respected his request," Knicks general manager Scott Layden said.

"It was important in doing so, however, that we had the ability to add value, and we believe we have done that."

Various trades involving Ewing and Rice have been in the works for the past month, including one involving Detroit that fell apart at the last moment in mid-August.

SI's Phil Taylor
I think it is a great trade for Seattle. If you look back, this trade was originally supposed to be Vin Baker for Patrick Ewing -- now the Sonics wind up getting the big man they really haven't had in a decade or so and they don't have to give up baker. In fact, they gave up very little at all. They have to be very thrilled with this trade.

As for the Knicks, they now have a glut of outside shooters with Latrell Sprewell, Allan Houston and Glen Rice. There has been a lot of talk that they will package Houston and Marcus Camby for a big man, possibly Dikembe Mutombo. But he's their second choice. What they really would like to do is pry Chris Webber loose from Sacramento and send Houston and Camby to the Kings. That would make some sense for the Kings because Webber is in the last year of his contract. Though he has said all the right things about wanting to stay in Sacramento, he has not signed an extension. The last thing the Kings would want to do is see Webber leave for nothing, so a Sacramento-New York trade is still a possibility.

There is a lot of sentiment among the Dream Team players that Rice is still a great shooter and can still be a 20-point-per-game scorer. He's just not a triple-post type of player for an offense like Phil Jackson's. A lot of people think that once he gets to a more conventional offense, he will be the old Glen Rice, an All-Star caliber player. For the Knicks' sake, I certainly hope that is true. He's not a great defensive player, not a great passer, he is a little bit of a one-dimensional player, but the Knicks have to know what they are getting here. 
The Knicks, Lakers and Sonics then discussed a three-team deal, but the Knicks wouldn't pull the trigger because they felt they weren't getting enough in return.

Once the Suns entered the picture, the talks heated up again.

Several other players were included in the trade to make it work under league salary-cap guidelines. The Knicks got Vernon Maxwell, Vladimir Stepania and Lazaro Borrell from Seattle and Travis Knight from Los Angeles.

New York also got first-round draft picks in 2001 from the Lakers and Sonics, and two second-round picks in 2001 from Seattle.

The Lakers also get Greg Foster, Chuck Person and Emanuel Davis from Seattle. Phoenix gets the Knicks' No. 1 pick in 2001.

"Getting Patrick accomplishes a big offseason goal of ours," said Sonics general manager Wally Walker, adding that 48 trade scenarios were discussed between the Sonics, Knicks and Lakers. "Until we got on the conference call with the league this afternoon, I had no confidence that the deal would get done."

Rice, a free agent, received a one-year offer from the Chicago Bulls this week. But he wavered on signing it as his agent, David Falk, tried to broker another deal, and the Bulls finally pulled the offer off the table Wednesday afternoon.

Rice ended up with the Knicks as part of a sign-and-trade transaction in which he got a multiyear contract from the Lakers before being shipped immediately to New York.

The trade brings a close to Ewing's career in New York, where he arrived as the No. 1 pick in the 1985 draft. He was expected to be the type of franchise player who could bring the Knicks their first championship since 1973, but it never happened.

Now, the Sonics have a center who can help them compete with the better teams in the Western Conference.

Who's Going Where
Team  Acquired 
  C Patrick Ewing 
  PF Horace Grant
F/C Greg Foster
F Chuck Person
G Emanuel Davis 
  G/F Glen Rice
C Luc Longley
C Travis Knight
G Vernon Maxwell
C Vladimir Stepania
F Lazaro Borrell
Lakers' 2001 No. 1
Sonics' 2001 No. 2 
  C Chris Dudley
Knicks' 2001 No. 1  

"I think Patrick's going to come and add us something that we needed. We needed someone to cope with the Rasheed Wallaces and the Shaquille O'Neals," Seattle's Gary Payton said. "We hope this is going to help Vin come back to the player he wants to be. I know Patrick's going to help our scoring, and it should open up things for me because a lot of people are young to be worried about doubling Patrick."

Ewing's only appearance in the NBA Finals came in 1994 when the Knicks lost to Houston in seven games. The Knicks made it back to the finals in 1999, but Ewing was injured and did not play.

"Patrick is one the hardest working, most loyal players I have ever been around," New York coach Jeff Van Gundy said.

"I have told him more than once that he is a champion even if he hasn't won a championship. He practiced and played like a champion every day he was here. Seattle is fortunate to get a player of his talent and character."

Ewing has one year remaining on a four-year, $60 million contract and has said he would like to play two more years beyond this upcoming season. The Knicks expressed no interest in giving Ewing an extension, and they started exploring the possibility of trading him earlier this summer.

Ewing has a no-trade clause in his contract, but said he would waive it if he was traded to a team of his liking. He met with Walker in August when the first four-team trade was discussed.

"There were many times we thought the deal was completely dead, but it got resurrected and here we are," Walker said. "We feel great about it. The trade is not without risk, given Patrick's age and injury history. But he's still one of the top half-dozen players in game.

"If it doesn't work out, we'll have some cap flexibility next summer."

With the Sonics, Ewing will take over the starting spot at center that was manned by Grant and Vin Baker.

The NBA champion Lakers, who were on the verge of losing Rice on the free-agent market and getting nothing in return, come out looking like the big winners. Grant fills their void at power forward, while Rick Fox will presumably replace Rice in the starting lineup

The Knicks received six players and four draft picks for a 38-year-old center with bad knees and a surgically repaired wrist. But they no longer have a top caliber center, and they have a glut at small forward and shooting guard with Rice, Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell, Erick Strickland and Maxwell.

"Obviously in losing Patrick you lose one of the most dominant centers to ever play," said Allan Houston of the Knicks. "Hopefully he's happy personally with it."

The trade was only the second four-team deal in NBA history, and Walker said a five-team deal was discussed at one point.

"I don't think most people know how complex four- and five-team deals are, and how many moving parts are involved," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said.

"A lot of things happened this summer you can't explain -- deals falling apart, players we thought we had commitments from. This deal made sense. I really felt if it didn't happen, it would be a shame. I'm relieved."

Related information
SI's Marty Burns: Knicks will miss Ewing
Bulls' deal with veteran Rice falls through
React: What do you think of the Ewing trade?
Patrick Ewing: By the Numbers
Sonics GM Wally Walker admits that trading for Patrick Ewing isn't without risk. (106 K)
Coach Paul Westphal thinks Ewing will fit in well with the Sonics. (104 K)
President and CEO of Madison Square Garden Dave Checketts says it is an end of an era in New York. (174 K)
Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy is happy Ewing can make a fresh start in Seattle. (225 K)
Sonic's guard Gary Payton thinks Ewing's arrival will help Seattle, especially Vin Baker. (173 K)
Checketts says Ewing's number will be retired when he stops playing basketball. (104 K)
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CNNSI Copyright © 2001
CNN/Sports Illustrated
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.