Suns Complete 8-Player Trade with Knicks

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
Posted: Jan. 5, 2004


The Phoenix Suns announced today they have acquired forward Antonio McDyess, guards Howard Eisley and Charlie Ward, and rookie forward/center Maciej Lampe (MAH-chick LOMP-ay) from the New York Knicks. The Suns also obtained the draft rights to Serbian point guard Milos Vujanic (MEE-losh Voo-yun-itch), an unconditional 2004 first-round draft pick, a conditional future first-round pick and undisclosed cash from New York in exchange for guard Stephon Marbury, guard Anfernee Hardaway and center Cezary Trybanski.

“This trade has many facets, both long term and short term. It creates the financial flexibility that we need to move forward,” Suns Chairman and CEO Jerry Colangelo said. “It not only relieves us of a significant financial liability, but also gives us a tremendous opportunity to compete in the free agency market. In the short term we were handcuffed with no place to go. The big part of this transaction is the acquisition of two first-round draft picks and the excitement about having two first-round draft picks this year. The bottom line is this is a bold move, but a necessary one for our development and success.”

“This was a difficult but necessary move to make. Stephon and Penny are great players and deserve our gratitude for their contributions to the Phoenix Suns,” Suns President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo said. “This move stabilizes our franchise, creating bright prospects for the future of our basketball team. “

The 6-9, 245-pound forward McDyess returns for his second stint with Phoenix. Originally acquired by the Suns in a three-team deal with Cleveland on Oct. 1, 1997, he averaged 15.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.23 steals and 1.67 blocks as the Suns finished with a 56-26 record during the 1997-98 campaign.

After missing the first 17 games of this season while recovering from left knee surgery, he has appeared in the last 18 games averaging 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in 23.4 minutes, including 14 points and 11 rebounds last night vs. New Jersey. Before this season, McDyess had missed 154 games due to injury in the last two seasons, after missing just 27 contests due to injury over his first six NBA campaigns.

In nine NBA seasons with Denver, Phoenix and New York, McDyess is averaging 17.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.63 blocks on .493 shooting from the field in 32.9 minutes in 460 games. McDyess, 29, was selected by the L.A. Clippers in the first round (second pick overall) of the 1995 NBA Draft.

Eisley, now entering his 10th NBA season, has averaged 6.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.71 steals in 20.8 minutes in 646 career games with Minnesota, San Antonio, Utah, Dallas and New York. The 6-2, 180-pound guard averaged career-highs in points (8.6 ppg), assists (4.2 apg), rebounds (2.1 rpg), steals (0.72 spg) and minutes (25.6 mpg) in 82 games played in 1999-00 in his final season with the Jazz. The 31-year-old, who was originally selected by the Timberwolves in the second round (30th pick overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft, is averaging 6.7 points, 4.7 assists and 0.91 steals in 22.1 minutes in 33 games this season.

Ward, 33, has played his entire 10-year NBA career with the Knicks and owns career averages of 6.3 points and 4.2 assists in 580 games. In 2003-04, the 6-2, 185-pound playmaker is averaging a career-high 8.7 points, 4.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.34 steals in 23.6 minutes in 35 games. The former two-sport athlete at Florida State was drafted by the Knicks with the 26th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft and won the 1993 Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate football player after leading the Seminoles to the national title in 1993.

Lampe, a 6-11, 275-pound forward/center from Poland was the 30th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. The 18-year-old has not played this season after he was placed on the injured list with shin splints on Oct. 27. He was selected to the 2003 Reebok Rocky Mountain All-Revue Team after averaging 17.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 32.4 minutes for the Knicks’ summer league team last July.

Last season Lampe played briefly for Real Madrid (Spain), and then was sent on loan to Universidad Complutense of LEB1 of second division Spain. There he established himself as one of the top young players in Europe, averaging 18.6 points and 7.5 rebounds on .555 shooting from the field (95-171) in 17 games.

Vujanic, widely considered one of the top point guards in Europe, was the 36th overall pick by the Knicks in the 2002 NBA Draft, but has yet to play in the NBA. The 23-year-old was the starting point guard and teammate of Suns rookie forward Zarko Cabarkapa on the gold medal winning Yugoslavian National Team at the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis.

In 13 games this season with Skipper Bologna (Italy), the 6-3, 190-pound playmaker led his team in scoring (19.2 ppg), assists (3.1 apg) and minutes (31.2). Last season for BC Partizan Belgrade (Serbia & Montenegro), Vujanic led all Euroleague competitors in scoring with 25.8 points per game and added 3.1 assists.

Marbury has played the last two-plus seasons with Phoenix after he was acquired from New Jersey on July 18, 2001 with Soumaila Samake and Johnny Newman for Jason Kidd and Chris Dudley. The eight-year pro averaged 21.3 points, 8.1 assists and 1.26 steals in 197 games with Phoenix. This is Marbury’s fifth club and fourth trade since he was chosen with the fourth overall pick by Milwaukee in the 1996 NBA Draft. The two-time All-Star (2003 with Phoenix) and Brooklyn native was averaging 20.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 34 games this season.

Hardaway was in his fifth season with the Suns after being traded to Phoenix from Orlando on Aug. 5, 1999 in exchange for Danny Manning, Pat Garrity and two future first-round picks. The four-time All-Star (all with Orlando) averaged 12.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 236 games with Phoenix. Hardaway was averaging a career-low 8.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 25.8 minutes in 34 games in 2003-04.

Trybanski was acquired on Sept. 30 in a five-player trade with Memphis and appeared in four games recording one rebound and one block in 10 minutes.


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