Largest Trade in NBA History Made
Tuesday, August 2, 2005; 11:59 PM
MIAMI -- In the largest trade in NBA history, Antoine Walker was dealt from Boston to Miami on Tuesday night in a transaction involving five teams and 13 players.
The Heat also acquired point guard Jason Williams and small forward James Posey from Memphis, while the Grizzlies received guard Eddie Jones from the Heat. The New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz were also involved in the deal.
The trade was larger than a 12-player, four-team deal in 2000 involving Patrick Ewing that had been the biggest in league history.
Miami also received Andre Emmett from Memphis and the draft rights to Roberto Duenas of Spain from the Hornets; Utah received Greg Ostertag from Memphis; Boston picked up Curtis Borchardt from Utah and a package -- Qyntel Woods, the draft rights to Spanish center Albert Miralles, two second-round draft picks and cash -- from Miami; New Orleans acquired Rasual Butler from Miami and Kirk Snyder from Utah; and the Grizzlies received guard Raul Lopez from the Jazz.
Hours after signing Shaquille O'Neal to a five-year deal, the Heat added three significant pieces to a roster that nearly reached the NBA Finals last season.
"We traded a lot, but we got back three quality players," said Heat president Pat Riley. "Antoine Walker is one of the very best multi-faceted, versatile players in this game. ... He is able to handle the ball, pass it, make plays, shoot 3's and rebound the ball. There isn't anyone in this league better at doing that."
Walker, a three-time All-Star, figures to become the starting small forward and would be backed up by Posey, one of the league's better defenders.
Walker signed a six-year deal worth nearly $53 million with Boston as part of the deal's preliminary framework, and agent Mark Bartelstein said he appreciated the Celtics' willingness to help out their longtime forward.
"Antoine is thrilled," Bartelstein said. "This was a grueling process trying to put a sign-and-trade together. This took a lot of time and work and energy from a lot of people."
Williams would take over as Miami's starting point guard if Damon Jones leaves as a free agent.
Eddie Jones exits Miami after five years with the Heat.
"I spoke to him and he's appreciative of the five great years he's had in Miami," agent Leon Rose said. "He's proud that he's helped build something, although it's unfortunate that he won't be able to see it to fruition. But he wishes the organization nothing but the best."