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Webber Shipped East to Sixers

Kings Trigger Six-Player Deal

By Joe Juliano
Philadelphia Inquirer
Thursday, February 24, 2005; Page D01

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 23 -- The Philadelphia 76ers acquired five-time all-star forward Chris Webber from the Sacramento Kings in a six-player deal Wednesday night, making a push for the Atlantic Division title and a run in the NBA playoffs the day before the trading deadline.

The Sixers dealt away their two power forwards, starter Kenny Thomas and reserve Corliss Williamson, along with center-forward Brian Skinner. They also picked up forwards Michael Bradley and Matt Barnes from the Kings.

_____Six Pact_____

Chris Webber Trade

76ers Get:

F Chris Webber

21.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 5.5 apg

F Matt Barnes

3.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.3 apg

F Michael Bradley

1.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.3 apg

Kings Get:

F Kenny Thomas

11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.6 apg

F Corliss Williamson

10.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.9 apg

F Brian Skinner

2.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.2 apg

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Sixers President and General Manager Billy King said late Wednesday night that talks for the 6-foot-10, 245-pound Webber began Wednesday morning and heated up throughout the day.

"When you have a chance to get a guy to do what he does, score and rebound, you want to go after it," King said.

In his 12th NBA season, Webber averaged 21.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists for the Kings and posted four triple-doubles. He started 46 games.

Webber, who will turn 32 on Tuesday, comes with a salary of $17.53 million for the season, or about $3 million more than new teammate Allen Iverson. He is scheduled to be paid $19.125 million next season, and can opt out of his contract after that.

Webber has had knee problems throughout his career. He underwent left knee surgery before the start of last season that kept him out of 50 games, and the knee has been known to give him trouble. He has missed eight games this season because of injury.

King said the knee had been a concern but "we did a lot of homework on it and we felt comfortable with it."

Webber was the first pick overall in the 1993 draft by the Orlando Magic, which then traded his rights to Golden State for Penny Hardaway and three No. 1 draft picks. Webber spent one season with the Warriors, then played for the next four years with the Washington Wizards before being traded to the Kings.

Sacramento's best season with Webber was 2001-02, when the Kings went 61-21 in the regular season and lost a seven-game series to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

"Trading Chris has been one of the most difficult and emotional decisions I have been involved in," said Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations. "He has been an instrumental force in ushering in and maintaining an exciting period of basketball in Sacramento. I can't thank him enough for his efforts as a King."

It is unclear whether Webber will arrive in time for the 76ers' game with the Knicks on Thursday night in New York. The 76ers will host the Kings on Saturday.

In the 6-7 Thomas, the 76ers gave up a player who averaged a double-double in points and rebounds last season. This season, Thomas was averaging 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds in 47 games, with seven double-doubles.

Williamson, 31, was a favorite of Coach Jim O'Brien for his experience and the toughness he brought off the bench.

Acquired from Detroit last off-season in a trade that sent Derrick Coleman to the Pistons, Williamson averaged 10.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 22 minutes.

Skinner, 28, was signed in the offseason as a free agent to a four-year contract worth more than $20 million, but he was mostly injured and inconsistent. He played in just 24 games, averaging 2.0 points and 2.6 rebounds.

The 6-10 Bradley, 25, who played one season of college basketball at Villanova, started the season with Orlando but then went to the Kings along with Cuttino Mobley in a trade that brought Doug Christie to the Magic. Bradley played in 16 games, averaging 1.5 points and 1.6 rebounds.

Barnes, 24, who is 6-7, averaged 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds for the Kings in 43 games.

NBA Notes: Shaquille O'Neal won't play before his injured knee is examined by doctors in Miami. The Heat ruled the center out of Wednesday's game against the Pacers, and spokesman Tim Donovan said O'Neal would fly home with the team and have an MRI exam Thursday. His status for the Heat's home game on Saturday against the Magic has not been determined.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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