Nuggets Acquire Patterson, Evans, SmithIn Four-Team Deal

DENVER, Feb. 23 -- The Denver Nuggets have acquired F Ruben Patterson and G Charles Smith from Portland and F Reggie Evans from Seattle in a four-team trade, Nuggets General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe announced today. In return, the Nuggets sent G Earl Watson, G/F Bryon Russell and a future second round pick to the Sonics and G Voshon Lenard to the Blazers. As part of the trade, Sacramento acquired C Vitaly Potapenko and G Sergei Monia, while Portland acquired F Brian Skinner from Sacramento.

“As was the case with the (Eduardo) Najera deal we made at the trade deadline last year, we feel this move strengthens our team as we head down the stretch,” said Vandeweghe. “Ruben gives us toughness, a defensive presence on the wing and playoff experience. Reggie is one of the best rebounders is the league and adds to our depth in the frontcourt. Charles is a veteran guard who can knock down shots.”

Patterson, 6-5, 224, appeared in 45 games for the Blazers this season, averaging 11.4 ppg and 3.4 rpg in 23.5 minutes. He shot .496 (188-379) from the field and scored a season-high 25 points last night vs. Charlotte. He has averaged 10.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 1.12 spg in 522 career regular season games with the Lakers (1998-99), Sonics (’99-01) and Blazers (’01-06) and has appeared in 18 career playoff games.

Evans saw action in 41 games for the Sonics this year, averaging 5.9 ppg and 6.7 rpg in 19.2 minutes. The 6-8, 245, fourth-year player averaged a career-high 9.3 rpg in 23.5 minutes last season. He led the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes (18.8) and ranked 12th overall in rebounding. He has appeared in 262 career games – all with Seattle – averaging 4.0 ppg and 7.1 rpg. Evans averaged 3.7 ppg and 7.4 rpg in 11 playoff games for the Sonics last season.

Smith, 6-4, 200, appeared in 21 games for the Blazers this season, averaging 3.8 ppg in 9.9 minutes. He has played in 141 games over his five-year NBA career, averaging 5.2 ppg.