The Denver Nuggets traded guard David Thompson to the SuperSonics today for Seattle's No. 1 draft pick in 1982--the 19th pick overall--and the contract rights to forward Wally Walker.
Thompson has one year remaining on a five-year contract at approximately $800,000 a year, much of it believed to be deferred. Denver General Manager Carl Scheer would not comment on whether the Sonics will assume some of the contract.
Walker, who played at the University of Virginia and on two NBA championship teams, Portland in 1977 and Seattle in 1979, is a free agent.
"It would be fair to say that in David's case, it was time for a change," Scheer said. "David experienced the climax of tremendous adulation in college and in the pros in Denver, and he's had a lot of things happen in his career.
"The city and David both enjoyed the ride. It's healthy for David and the community to have a fresh start. He's only 27, and he has a bright future ahead of him."
Thompson averaged 26.8 points per game in three years at North Carolina State before signing with Denver in the now-defunct American Basketball Association. In his first six years in Denver, Thompson averaged 25.2 points per game, but dropped off to 14.9 last season.
Thompson's name surfaced recently in connection with a reported police investigation of drug use in Denver. Scheer and Seattle General Manager Zollie Volchok denied any connection between the trade and the investigation. "We're building a team that wasn't geared to him," Scheer said.