The Golden State Warriors have acquired guards Nick Van Exel, Avery Johnson and Antoine Rigaudeau, forward Popeye Jones and center Evan Eschmeyer from the Dallas Mavericks in a nine-player trade, general manager Garry St. Jean announced today. In return, the Warriors sent forwards Antawn Jamison, Danny Fortson and Chris Mills, along with guard Jiri Welsh, to the Mavericks.
“We’re extremely excited about this deal and feel that it is advantageous for our franchise in several aspects,” said St. Jean. “In the short term, we have added talented players to our roster, while also providing an opportunity for some of our younger players to step up and play larger roles in our overall development. Additionally, in the long term, this trade will provide us with some flexibility that we may not otherwise have had.”
Van Exel, a 10-year NBA veteran, has averaged 15.5 points, 7.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 723 regular season games during his career, seeing action with the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Mavericks. In 64 career playoff games, the 6-1 guard has averaged 15.7 points, 5.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds, including this past postseason in which he averaged 19.5 points in 20 playoff contests as Dallas advanced to the Conference Finals. An All-Star selection in 1997-98, Van Exel has finished in the NBA’s top-15 in assists in eight of his 10 seasons, while finishing in the top-25 in assist-to-turnover ratio in each of the last seven campaigns.
Johnson returns for his second stint with the Warriors after playing 82 games with Golden State in 1993-94, during which time he served as team captain. During his 16-year NBA career, the 5-11 point guard has averaged 8.5 points, 5.7 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 1,008 regular season games with Seattle, Denver, San Antonio (twice), Houston, Golden State and Dallas. In 90 playoff games, he has averaged 10.5 points, 6.2 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.13 steals, while also helping the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA Championship in 1999.
Rigaudeau, a nine-time All-Star in Europe, appeared in 11 games with Dallas during his first season in the NBA in 2002-03, averaging 1.5 points per game. Prior to joining the Mavs as a free agent this past January, the French native played professionally in Europe for parts of 16 seasons, logging time with Cholet and Pau-Orthez in France and Virtus Bologna in Italy. The 6-7 guard was a five-time MVP of the French Championship (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996).
Jones has averaged 7.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 530 career games over 10 NBA seasons with Dallas, Toronto, Boston, Denver and Washington. This past season, the 6-8 forward appeared in 26 games for the Mavericks, averaging 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds.
Eschmeyer, a 6-11 center, has averaged 2.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 153 games over four NBA seasons with New Jersey and Dallas. This past season, he averaged 1.0 point and 1.7 rebounds in 17 contests.
Jamison, the Warriors leading scorer in each of the past four seasons, heads to Dallas after spending the first five years of his career with Golden State. In 336 career contests, he averaged 20.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists. This past season, he averaged 22.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 82 contests.
Fortson, who appeared in 100 of 246 team games during his three-year stint with Golden State, averaged 3.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 17 contests this past season.
Mills, a 10-year NBA veteran, has spent the last five seasons with the Warriors, appearing in 169 of 378 team games during that span and averaging 9.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists. This past season, he averaged 4.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 21 games.
Welsch, whom the Warriors acquired in a draft-day deal with Philadelphia on June 26, 2002, appeared in 37 games during his rookie campaign, averaging 1.6 points.