AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – February 19, 2004 - The Detroit Pistons have acquired forward/center Rasheed Wallace from the Atlanta Hawks and guard Mike James from the Boston Celtics as part of a three-way deal that sends guards Chucky Atkins and Lindsey Hunter to Boston and guard Bobby Sura, center Zeljko Rebraca and Celtics forward Chris Mills to Atlanta, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars. Boston will receive Detroit’s first-round pick in the 2004 draft and cash compensation. Atlanta will receive the rights to Milwaukee’s 2004 first-round draft choice, which Detroit previously obtained from Denver.
Wallace, 29, was recently acquired by Atlanta from the Portland Trail Blazers on February 9 and played in one game with the Hawks prior to the trade, scoring 20 points with six rebounds and five blocks in Atlanta’s 98-92 loss to New Jersey (2/18). Wallace played in 45 games with the Blazers this season (44 starts), averaging 17.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.60 blocks in 37.2 minutes. A nine-year NBA veteran and two-time All-Star, the 6-11 Wallace has shot 44.2% from the field, 34.1% from three-point range and 74.2% from the foul line this season. Among NBA leaders, he currently ranks 35th in scoring, 41st in rebounding, 23rd in blocks and 31st in minutes played.
A first round pick of the Washington Wizards (fourth overall) in the 1995 NBA Draft, the former North Carolina product was traded along with Mitchell Butler to the Trail Blazers for Rod Strickland and Harvey Grant (7/15/96). In seven-plus seasons in Portland, Wallace finished among the Blazers’ top ten all-time leaders in 14 statistical categories. He represented the Blazers in two All-Star games, in 2000 and 2001.
Wallace, who entered the NBA after his sophomore season with the Tar Heels, brings career averages of 16.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.23 blocks to the Pistons. A second-team All-Rookie pick in 1996, he has played in 23 playoff games.
James, 28, appeared in 55 games (all as a starter) for the Celtics this season, averaging 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.27 steals in 30.6 minutes. The third-year guard comes to Detroit with career averages of 8.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 23.8 minutes in 148 career NBA games (63 as a starter). Undrafted out of Duquesne, James played in Austria (1998-99), France (1999-00 and 2000-01) and with the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association (2001-02) before being signed as a free agent by the Miami Heat on December 18, 2001. He was signed as a free agent by Boston on July 25, 2003.
Atkins, 29, played in 38 games with the Pistons this season, averaging 6.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 18.8 minutes. Named to the 1999-00 Schick All-Rookie Second Team, Atkins was acquired from the Orlando Magic along with Ben Wallace in exchange for Grant Hill as part of a sign-and-trade on August 3, 2000. In 263 games as a Piston (144 as a starter), he averaged 10.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 25.7 minutes. The 5-11 guard moved into sixth place in three-point field goals made (385) on the Pistons’ all-time leaders list this season. A five-year NBA veteran, Atkins heads to Atlanta with career averages of 9.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists and 24.3 minutes in 345 games and has played in 27 playoff games (13 starts).
Hunter, 33, returned to the Pistons roster for the second time during his 12-year NBA career after being acquired from Toronto in exchange for Michael Curry on 8/28/03. The 6-2 guard spent the last 39 games on the injured list with a strained left medial collateral ligament. In 11 games (one as a starter), Hunter averaged 3.7 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 16.0 minutes. Hunter won a NBA Championship with the LA Lakers in 2001-02 and has career averages of 10.3 points, 2.5 rebounds3.0 assists, 1.35 steals and 28.8 minutes in 692 career NBA games.
Sura, 30, appeared in 53 games with the Pistons this season, averaging 3.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 13.3 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 13 points twice, most recently vs. Washington (1/16) and has scored 10+ points five times this season. The nine-year veteran has career averages of 8.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 22.4 minutes in 569 NBA games. Sura was acquired from Golden State in exchange for Clifford Robinson on August 21, 2003. During a five-year stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to three years with the Warriors, Sura made two playoff appearances in 1995-96 and 1997-98.
Rebraca, 31, has appeared in 21 games (two as a starter) for the Pistons this season, averaging 3.1 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.6 minutes. The third-year center out of Serbia & Montenegro appeared in 74 games during his rookie season and was named to the 2001-02 NBA All-Rookie Team after averaging 6.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 15.9 minutes. Rebraca missed 50 games last season to an irregular heartbeat and had successful surgery to correct the heartbeat at University of Michigan Hospital on August 7, 2003. The 7-footer has career averages of 6.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 15.1 minutes in 125 career NBA games (18 as a starter).