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Making their move

Knicks get McDyess, send Camby to Nuggets

Posted: Wednesday June 26, 2002 9:17 PM
Updated: Thursday June 27, 2002 5:39 AM
  Antonio McDyess Antonio McDyess has averaged 17.7 points per game over his seven-year career with the Nuggets. Sam Forencich/NBAE/
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NEW YORK (AP) -- With their fans chanting for Chris Wilcox and Caron Butler, the New York Knicks used the seventh pick in Wednesday night's NBA draft on Maybyner "Nene" Hilario.

But the 6-foot-10 Brazilian, equipped with an arm-to-arm wing span of 7 feet, 4 1/2 inches, won't be playing at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks traded him along with Marcus Camby and Mark Jackson to Denver for former All-Star Antonio McDyess and Frank Williams, the No. 25 pick of the draft, who was Big Ten Player of the Year as a sophomore at Illinois in 2001.

In the second round, New York chose Milos Vujanic, a member of Yugoslavia's junior national team.

Earlier, there was speculation that the Knicks would come out of the draft with Cleveland point guard Andre Miller and it seemed certain that the Cavaliers would be moving Miller after they drafted Dajuan Wagner with the sixth pick of the first round.

That left Wilcox from Maryland's national champions, and Butler from Connecticut as possibilities for the Knicks at No. 7. The home crowd at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, site of the draft, chanted for both of them but general manager Scott Layden went for Hilario instead.

Wilcox went next to the Los Angeles Clippers and Butler was gone two picks later to the Miami Heat.

SI's Marty Burns
Knicks GM Scott Layden might not want toget too comfy yet.

Sure, he wiggled off the hook temporarily by acquiring All-Star caliber power forward Antonio McDyess from the Nuggets. But McDyess missed all of last season with a knee injury, and there is fear he might never regain his old explosiveness.

Meanwhile, the loss of Marcus Camby leaves New York without any center. Kurt Thomas might be able to hold down the middle some nights, but the smallish Knicks are going to miss Cambyís defense and shot-blocking.

Laydenís move has to be considered a positive step, but itís far from the answer. 

"There was a lot of talk that the Knicks wanted me bad," Wilcox said. "I thought I was coming to New York, but it didn't work out and I don't mind going to the Clippers."

Meanwhile, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, picked at No. 5 by Denver, tipped off the trade.

"I heard we're getting Marcus Camby from the Knicks," he said. "I really like Marcus Camby. I'd love to play with him."

Camby played just 29 games for the Knicks last season and has struggled with injuries throughout his career. Jackson was part of a three-man point guard rotation that never quite worked for the Knicks.

Like Camby, McDyess missed most of last season with injuries. The second pick in the 1995 draft played just 10 games. He has averaged 17.8 points for seven years in the NBA.

Layden said parting with Camby and Jackson was difficult.

"We traded two players away who meant so much to our organization," he said. "We're happy to get Antonio McDyess. We think he's a fine addition to our team. And Frank Williams. We're happy he was on the board at No. 25.

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* Scott Layden assesses the trade.Start

* Kiki Vandeweghe expects both teams to benefit from the trade.
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"Antonio is a pivotal player in the deal. We're excited to get him on the court. We can't wait to get him here."

Hilario's stock went up at the 2001 Goodwill Games when he blocked five shots in 18 minutes against the gold medal Americans. He averaged 13.2 points and 10.1 rebounds through the first 15 games of the season for Brazil and impressed scouts with his draft workouts.

For a Knicks team hungry for size, the 19-year-old seemed a logical pick but the fans weren't thrilled. There were boos and some chants of "Fire Layden." The chants grew louder when New York picked Vujanic in the second round.

Hilario said he was confused when the fans booed his pick. "I didn't know what was going on," he said. "I was very happy. It didn't matter."

Then came the trade.

"Of course, I was surprised but I enjoy both cities," Hilario said.

The Knicks were sensitive to recent draft failures. They had no first-round pick last year, traded No. 1 Donnell Harvey in a failed deal for Erick Strickland two years ago and in 1999 picked French player Frederic Weis, who never played in the NBA.

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