The Buffalo Braves gave up Adrian Dantley and acquired Billy Knight and Nate Archibald in separate National Basketball Association trades yesterday.
Dantley, the former DeMatha High School Hyattsville, Md. and Notre Dame star, and the NBA's 1977 rookie of the year, went to the Indiana Pacers along with 6-foot-9 forward Mike Bantom. In return, the Pacers sent Knight, a 6-5 swingman with a three-year NBA average of 23.8 points per game, to the Braves.
Archibald, former league-leading scorer who missed most of the 1976-77 season, was acquired from the Nets in return for 6-11 center George Johnson and a 1979 No.1 draft pick.
Braves owner John Y. Brown also said he expected to make at least two more deals before training camp. One will send Ernie DeGregorio, the former Providence star, to another NBA club. The other trade, he said, will bring a backup forward-center to the Braves to replace Johnson.
Bantom was with the Nets last season. He had played out his option and signed with the Braves, who are still responsible for sending the Nets compensation.
Dantley passed up his senior year at Notre Dame to turn pro and averaged 203 points per game while winning the rookie award by a unanimous vote.
"I hated to give Adrian up," said Brown, "but we had three inside players up front with Swen Nater, John Shumate and him. This way, we'll have a great perimeter shooter in Knight and someone who can get him the ball in Archibald."
Bob Leonard, the Pacers' coach - general manager,admited that bogged-down contract negotiations were part of the reason Knight was traded. He was reportedly asking for a seven-year contract at $400,000 per season.
"You win in the NBA with people up front." Leonard said "And it's no secret we didn't get enough scoring at forward last season.
"We wanted to renegotiate Billy's contract, which has two years to run. But his agent put too much pressure on him. We just couldn't enter into a contract like that at this time and didn't want an unhappy player on the team."
Archibald, 29, played in just 34 games for the Nets last season before breaking a bone in his foot. He had been acquired prior to the season before breaking a bone in his foot. He had been acquired prior to the season from Kansas City in a trade for Jim Eakins. Brian Taylor and two Nets first-round draft picks.
Brown would not comment on the possibility that DiGregorio might be sent to the Nets as compensation for Bantom.The Nets are now without a playmaking guard.
The Braves' owner also denied a report that he was interested in acquireing Washington Bullets forward Kevin Grevey. "Grevey's a good player but we have not discussed him at all with the Bullets." he said. He would not deny, however, the possibility that his club might make further deals before the season opens.