Celtics Acquire Nine-Time NBA All-Star Gary Payton


The Celtics acquired nine-time All-Star Gary Payton on Friday.
photo: NBAE/Getty Images

Team Also Receives Former Celtic Rick Fox, A First Round Draft Choice and Cash, In Exchange for Chucky Atkins, Marcus Banks, Chris Mihm and a Second Round Draft Choice

BOSTON, MA – The Boston Celtics announced today that they have completed a five player deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, bringing nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton to the Celtics as well as Rick Fox, a conditional first round draft choice and cash in exchange for Chucky Atkins, Marcus Banks, Chris Mihm and a second round draft choice.

Nicknamed “The Glove” for his stifling defense, Payton was elected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive seasons (1994-2001) and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1996, becoming the first guard to win the award since Michael Jordan in 1987-88. Payton brings career averages to the Celtics of 18.0 points, 7.2 assists and 2.02 steals per game. He currently ranks 5th on the NBA’s all-time list in steals (2,243), 6th in assists (8,039) and 29th in points (19,956). As a Celtic next season, Payton will become just the 29th player in NBA history to accumulate over 20,000 career points. He scored his 15,000th career point vs. Philadelphia on 3/19/01, becoming the 88th player in league history to reach the milestone and just the eighth player in NBA history to compile 15,000 points, 6,000 assists and 1,000 steals.

Known for his tenacious play and infectious, competitive attitude, Payton has twice won Olympic Gold as a member of the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Men's Olympic Teams. In addition, the 6-4, 180-pound guard was named to the All-NBA First-Team in 1998 and 2000, the All-NBA Second Team in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999, and All-NBA Third Team in 2001.

Payton continued his solid play last season, averaging 14.6 points and 5.5 assists while shooting an efficient .471 from the field, his best percentage since the 1996-97 campaign. In addition, he started all 82 games for the Western Conference Champions. In fact, he has missed just six games during his 15-year career, establishing himself as one of the league’s ironmen. Prior to signing with the Lakers as a free agent on 7/16/03, Payton appeared in 28 games for the Milwaukee Bucks after being traded by the SuperSonics with Desmond Mason for Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie, Ronald Murray, and a first-round draft pick on 2/20/03.

Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round (second overall) of the 1990 NBA Draft, Payton’s 13-year career with Seattle was highlighted by selections to the NBA All-Star Team seven straight seasons (1994-98, 2000-01) and was voted as a starter in the 1997 and 1998 games.

A member of the Celtics for six seasons (1991-97), Fox has enjoyed a solid NBA career, posting career averages of 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. The 13-year veteran has spent the last seven seasons with the Lakers claiming three NBA Championships. His finest year as a pro came in 1996-97 when he established career-bests in scoring (15.4 ppg), steals (2.20 spg, 4th in the NBA) and three-pointers made (101) and attempted (278).

After being selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round (24th overall) of the 1991 NBA Draft, Fox was named to the 1991-92 NBA All-Rookie Second Team, averaging 8.0 points per game for the Celtics. He also became the Celtics first rookie to start on opening night since Larry Bird in 1979.

Atkins, a 5-11 guard, was acquired from Detroit, along with Lindsey Hunter, Detroit’s 2004 first round draft choice and cash, in exchange for sending Mike James to Detroit and Chris Mills to Atlanta in a three team deal on 02/19/04. In 24 games with the Celtics, Atkins averaged 12.0 points and 5.3 assists per game.

Banks, a 6-2 guard, was acquired in a 2003 draft night trade with Memphis along with the draft rights to Kendrick Perkins, in exchange for the draft rights to Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones. In one season with the Celtics, Banks averaged 5.9 points and 2.2 assists per game.

Mihm, a 7-0 center, was acquired by the Celtics from Cleveland, along with Ricky Davis, Michael Stewart and a second round draft choice, in exchange for Tony Battie, Kedrick Brown and Eric Williams on 12/15/03. In 54 games with the Celtics, Mihm averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

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