Team Sends Gary Payton, Tom Gugliotta, Michael Stewart and a Future First Round Draft Choice To Atlanta

BOSTON, MA (February 24, 2005) -- The Boston Celtics announced today that they have completed a four player deal with the Atlanta Hawks, bringing three-time All-Star and former Celtic Antoine Walker to Boston along with cash, in exchange for Gary Payton, Tom Gugliotta, Michael Stewart and a future first round draft choice.

Walker, known for his versatile, all-around game, will be returning to Boston as he played seven seasons in a Celtics uniform from 1996-2003 averaging 20.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, and currently is tied for third (John Havlicek) on the Celtics all-time average points per game list. The 6-9 forward has career averages of 20.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. During the 2001-02 season Walker led the Celtics to their first playoff appearance in seven seasons including a trip to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals as he averaged 22.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 16 playoff games.

Selected sixth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Celtics, Walker also guided Boston to a second round playoff appearance in 2003, as he averaged 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game in 10 playoff games. Walker made All-Star appearances in 1998, 2002 and 2003 in his first stint with Boston, and was named Eastern Conference Co-Player of the Month, with teammate Paul Pierce, in January 2002.

Walker was dealt from the Celtics on October 20, 2003, along with Tony Delk to the Dallas Mavericks, in exchange for Raef LaFrentz, Chris Mills, Jiri Welsch and a first round draft pick. He averaged 14.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in one season in Dallas, before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks along with Tony Delk, in exchange for Jason Terry, Alan Henderson and a future first round draft choice on August 4, 2004. Walker averaged 20.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in 53 games with the Hawks this season.

Payton, a 6-4 guard, was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers, along with Rick Fox, a first round draft choice and cash, in exchange for Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones and Chris Mihm on August 13, 2004. In 54 games with the Celtics the nine-time all star averaged 12.1 points and 6.1 assists in 32.8 minutes per game. Gugliotta, a 6-10 forward, was signed as a free agent on August 14, 2004. The 13-year NBA veteran appeared in 20 games with the Celtics he averaged 1.3 points and 2.2 boards in 10.9 minutes per game. Stewart, a 6-10 center, was acquired from Cleveland, along with Ricky Davis, Chris Mihm and a second round draft choice, in exchange for Tony Battie, Kedrick Brown and Eric Williams on December 15, 2003. Stewart appeared in 17 games during his time in Boston.